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Keeping students safe, wearing masks at school

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BATON ROUGE - As more students head back to in-person learning, they're masking up. Dr. Michael Bolton, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital, says parents should start getting their child used to wearing a mask long before they go back to school.

"Make it fun for them, make it personal for them so they can be part of the decision of what type of mask they want to wear," Bolton said. "That might increase a kid's desire to wear a mask and wear it for longer periods of time."

The CDC recommends children two years and older wear a mask. The Louisiana Department of Education requires children in the third grade and above wear a face covering. Bolton suggests children of all ages wear a mask as much as possible.

"The more you can wear a mask, regardless if you're 30 years old or 3 years old, the more who do it the better we are at minimizing the risk of spread of the virus," Bolton said.

If your child is fighting the idea of wearing a mask, Bolton suggests having them wear the mask while they're watching their favorite television show.

The CDC says gaiters and face shields may not be as effective at mitigating the virus spread. Ochsner Health recently adjusted its mask policy to no longer allow gaiters. A mask with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric is recommended.

Doctors also recommend getting the flu shot this season.

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