The nation's leading association of pediatricians released new guidance when it comes to children and the safe reopening of schools this fall.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that everyone over the age of two wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status.


"As we start the 2021-'22 school year, a large portion of students are not eligible to be vaccinated and there are COVID variants that are more contagious," said Sonja O'Leary, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on School Health Executive Committee. "Because of this and because we want to have all students in school, the AAP advocates for all students, teachers and staff to wear masks while indoors in school."

Another reason for continued mask wearing: schools may not be able to effectively monitor student vaccination rates or enforce mask policies, says the AAP.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its guidance on mask wearing in schools, that vaccinated teachers and students don't need to continue wearing them in buildings. The CDC did say that unvaccinated people should wear them, though.

Children under 12 are still ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

So, should your child wear a mask to school this fall?

Lacking a national mask mandate or policy, we're left with recommendations. It might come down to your school or state's individual policies. It might come down to what you and your child feel safest doing.

Right now, the consistent guidance is that if your child is not vaccinated, he should continue wearing a mask. When it comes to figuring out what's safest for your vaccinated child, we encourage you to discuss your options with your child's pediatrician and school health officials.