But parents’ opinions about the recommendation, which is not mandatory, have varied widely.
Caitlin Williams, 38, of Carlton North, is in favour of her son Griffin, 5, wearing a mask, whether it’s to the park, kinder or childcare.
″I just think it’s an extra tool that we have that can help protect our kids,″ Ms Williams said.
″I’m worried that there’s no vaccine for children at the moment, and with the Delta variant being considered to be more dangerous for children.″
She doesn’t understand why there’s resistance to mask wearing, and said “it’s a public health measure”.
″For me putting a mask on my child in a pandemic is like putting a helmet on him when he’s riding a bike.″
About one-quarter of Victoria’s 440 active cases are among children under the age of 9, Health Minister Martin Foley said on Sunday. One child aged under five is among the 27 people in hospital.
Mandy Herbet, 41, of Bentleigh East, said she was “perfectly happy” for her son Archie, 6, to wear a mask but for now it should be “recommended” and not mandatory, to get kids used to it.
She doesn’t push Archie to wear the mask while riding a bike or kicking a ball. But she will encourage it at shops, or at schools and other places with people around.
The World Health Organisation and UNICEF said that children age 5 and under should not wear masks. Regarding children age 6 to 11, parents should consult local authorities.
Factors to consider included whether there was widespread transmission in the area, the ability of the child to safely use a mask, and level of adult supervision.
Parents also had mixed reactions to the state government’s decision to close childcare for everyone but essential workers.
Ms Le Vaillant said the move would be “devastating” for many families, adding to the stresses of home learning after a long period where everyone is feeling exhausted.
Ms Williams, a single mother who can work from home, said the decision would put strain on many people, but is relieved because she was concerned about childcare helping spread disease.
“It’s going to be a challenge, but I think it’s necessary,” she said.
Victorian students of all ages took part on Sunday in the @shadowpandemicvic campaign— standing with their school bags in front of their homes for 15 minutes, in a peaceful statement about the impact of school closures and other restrictions on children.
One of the organisers, Jacquie Blackwell, said parents and children were calling for the government to offer a road map to get kids back into schools.
Ms Blackwell said her four kids, aged between 12, 15, 16 and 18, were taking part in Sunday’s event.
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