School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: Would You Let Your Child Play Football Without a Helmet?

What would happen if we rewound all of the confusing public health messaging about masking and reframed it using a sports analogy? Here is one; would you allow your child to play tackle football without a helmet? Probably not, right! Would parents who are against universal masking think differently if we viewed masks as safety equipment, like football helmets, instead of a perceived forced medical intervention? Is this the root of the mask refusal? 

Masks are safety equipment, much like football helmets and shoulder pads. We would never send our youngsters on the field for a rough and tumble football game without all of the mandatory safety gear. This is the same scenario in schools. Let’s center the discussions about schools reopening and staying open on safety equipment. Universal masking, much like handwashing, physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, updated ventilation are all safety steps we can take to limit exposure to the most transmissible variant we have seen since March of 2020. 

What happens when we reframe public health messaging in a more relatable and apolitical context. We can all wrap our minds around sports safety. Let’s look at mask wearing as essential as wearing a helmet during a football game. We don’t have to dig in our heels to protect a point of view that can be evaluated through a different vantage point. That is all I am suggesting; what would happen if those who believe masking is a medical intervention viewed it as a safety precaution. Let’s try that on for size.


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