Starting today across the state of Michigan, two-year-olds at daycare facilities will be required to mask up, thanks to an order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Kids from ages 2-4 will now be subjected to mask requirements just like the rest of Michigan citizens, according to MDHHS representative Bob Wheaton, who told MLive.com that two-year-olds will be required to wear a mask at a park just like 18-year-old senior in high school.
The new rules will require daycare workers to keep masks on two-year-olds. One daycare worker told Mid-Michigan Now that she’s concerned for the two-year-olds who are learning from teacher facial expressions and expressions from classmates. “Something might be super exciting and fun, but they can’t see that so they don’t know how to react,” Nicole Bellanger from Lady Di Daycare told the news channel.
Bellanger added that three-year-olds at the facility are speaking less since they started wearing face masks. “The mask will definitely put an impact on that. So we won’t be able to know what they say or what they want so that will make more behavioral issues because they can’t talk. So kind of like how babies cry because they have no other way of communicating now these 2-year-olds are going to have that same thing, so they’ll stop talking as much,” said Bellanger.
Yet still, the state says it’s time to mask up the two-year-olds through May 24 when the order is set to expire.
Dr. Nuzhat Ali, a pediatrician in Flint, told WJRT empathizes with the facilities who will be required to keep the kids masked or feel the hammer of the state health department.
“As a mother and as a pediatrician, I cannot just even imagine trying to put it on a two-year-old. And, you know, letting them wear it for eight to 10 hours a day. I mean it’s just, it’s just something which is, I don’t think it’s doable,” said Dr. Ali.
State lawmakers made a last-ditch effort Friday to get Governor Gretchen Whitmer to reconsider this new rule, but it failed. Whitmer’s health department moved forward. The CDC came out in February stating that two-year-olds should be wearing face coverings in a community setting and even went as far as stating that double masking was a smart idea.
New orders in Michigan require a “good faith effort” be made to have 2-4 year olds wear a mask all day at daycare.
My heart broke a little putting this on my little guy this morning. pic.twitter.com/BEJ6Q1877i
— Doug Samuels (@CoachSamz) April 20, 2021