But according to a study conducted in Spain, the use of face masks in classrooms made "no significant difference" in COVID-19 infection rates.
For the study, a team of researchers from different universities and hospitals analyzed COVID-19 transmission rates, age and the mandated use of face masks in classrooms across the region of Catalonia in northeastern Spain.
The study was published in peer-reviewed journal Archives of Disease in Childhood. The research team compiled data from 1,907 schools with a total of 599,314 pupils during the first term of the 2021 academic year.
While COVID-19 variants like omicron occurred outside of the timeframe of the study, the researchers believe that it is "unlikely that the effectiveness of the mask mandate measure will increase with a more transmissible variant."
For the study, the researchers examined routinely collected health data to compare the incidence of COVID-19, secondary attack rates and the effective reproductive number among school children. The researchers compared data from children without mandatory face masks and those with face masks during the first term of the school year 2021-2022, to assess the effect of face mask mandates on COVID-19 transmission within schools.
The researchers focused on comparing children in the last year of preschool (P5) and the first year of primary education. The younger group had no face mask mandate but the older group did. (Related: Yale professor scoffs at the idea that mask mandates are based on science.)
According to the team, the aim of the study was not to measure the individual effectiveness of face masks but to evaluate the effectiveness of mask mandates in the real-world context of schools.
"The main findings of the study show no significant differences for children in the last grade of preschool (P5) and the first year of primary education in COVID-19 transmission indicators during the study period, despite their difference in FCM mandate and the strong age dependency of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in schools," explained the researchers.
Data showed that the age trend observed for P5 and older children follows a different pattern when P3 and P4 are included in the analysis.
With no mandatory use of face masks, the youngest children have "significantly lower transmission indicators when compared with any other group."
The researchers concluded that wearing face masks in schools showed no significant differences in terms of transmission. Conversely, the research team found that age is a major component explaining transmission in children.
The Spanish case study follows other studies demonstrating the failed efficacy of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In fact, face mask mandates even exacerbated the spread of the virus in certain demographics.
Instead of forcing kids to wear masks, teach them these effective cleaning and hygiene tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at home and in school.
These simple hygiene measures can help protect your family's health and everyone else's:
Follow these tips to keep your home clean and germ-free:
Regularly clean and disinfect these high-touch surfaces:
Visit Pandemic.news for more updates on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch the video below for home cleaning tips.
This video is from the DIY craft channel on Brighteon.com.