GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – As South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster insists that children should not wear masks in the classroom, pediatricians are pushing to raise awareness about the risks of COVID-19 in kids.
As children head back to the classroom, parents are faced with a decision: to wear a mask or not.
Kara Villians has a child headed to school this fall.
“My kids are 3 and 4, my 3 year old is not yet in school, my 4 year old is starting this month and it’s not realistic honestly. I don’t have any position either way. I just know that my child will not realistically sit in class and be able to focus,” Mom of two Kara Villians said.
Governor Henry McMaster says the government should not mandate masks for children.
“Mandating masks is not the answer, personal responsibility is the answer, common sense is the answer and we have an abundance of both in South Carolina,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said.
Pediatric Doctor Robert Saul says the numbers say otherwise.
“So many of the illnesses that I took care of when I was a young doctor in training, children didn’t make it out of the hospital. Now, the young doctors in training don’t even see the disease,” Dr. Saul said.
He says the science shows that wearing masks and vaccinations make a difference.
“We need to do what’s best for children and families, we need to vaccinate all children that we can, and since we know a significant percentage of children can still not be vaccinated, the zero to 12, we need to protect them. And the way to protect them is with a mask,” Dr. Saul said.
While all agree that children should be in school, for Governor McMaster, not mandating masks is a matter of law.
“The state law is crystal clear that state funds are not to be used to enforce a mask mandate,” Governor McMaster said.
For some parents, requiring a child to wear or not wear a mask is a matter of choice.
“I’m one that’s not going to live in fear. We’re not going to constantly hide behind something. So I’m not afraid of it. If we got COVID, then that’s the name of the game and we’ll take care of ourselves and do what we need to do,” Villians said.
Dr. Saul says encouraging vaccines and masks is a matter of considering the science.
“There are several myths out there about the vaccine…there is this misinformation now again and it’s still perpetuated that children aren’t at risk, that children if they’re exposed don’t need to worry about it and if they get sick its no big deal, that’s just not the case,” Dr. Saul said.
Dr. Saul says that there is a vaccine for kids zero to 12 , already going through clinical trials, his granddaughter will be a participant in another state.
According to Dr. Saul, the American Academy of Pediatrics just came out with a strong statement asking the FDA to move a quick as possible to approve the vaccine for kids zero to 12.