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Kids going back to school maskless? Here's advice from doctors about what to look out for.

Significant time masked may lower your child's immune system, making them more susceptible to more common types of illness.
Posted at 6:14 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 18:14:26-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As of the first week of March, both the Buffalo Public School system and the New York State government began action to both lift their mask mandates for schools.

"As the masks come off, there's certainly things parents need to be aware of," said Dr. Kathleen Grisanti, a pediatrician and the Medical Director of Pediatric & Adolescent Urgent Care of Western New York.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Common sicknesses like the common cold, flu, and stomach bugs are expected to be rampant.
    • "As our children have been masked for a considerable amount of time, they haven't been exposed to many germs. That means that their immune systems are a little weaker than they were before," said Dr. Grisanti.

Pediatric & Adolescent Urgent Care of Western New York has had a substantial increase in the volume of its treatment of low-grade viral infections, according to Dr. Grisanti.

"It's really important to note here that just because your child is sick does not mean they have COVID-19. In reality there are so many other things that can make your child sick ... just monitor them and call a pediatrician if you feel your child is not doing well," said Dr. Grisanti.

So what can I do to make sure my child doesn't get sick, especially with a weakened immune system?

"Practice common sense practices that we may have forgotten throughout this pandemic," said Dr. Stephen Turkovich, the Chief Medical Officer at Oishei Children's Hospital.

  1. Wash your hands frequently
  2. Sanitize surfaces regularly
  3. Make a concerted effort to cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.

"It's simple, but it goes a long way. Especially now when we all might be a little more likely to get sick than usual," said Dr. Turkvoich.