Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

AAP: Masks encouraged for camp, child care, school to prevent COVID-19

May 26, 2021

Editor’s note: This guidance has been updated since this report was published. For the latest guidance on masks, visit the latest news on COVID-19, visit

The AAP continues to encourage mask wearing by children and staff in schools, child care programs and camps until COVID-19 vaccine is available for children and uptake in the pediatric population is high enough to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

The updated interim guidance endorses correct, consistent use of well-fitting face masks for anyone who is not fully vaccinated and is 2 years of age or older and for all people when required by laws, rules or regulations. An adolescent or adult is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receipt of the final COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Wearing face masks has played a crucial part in the layered approach to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2. It protects unvaccinated people and those who may not have a full immune response to the vaccine such as adults and children who are medically fragile, immunocompromised or at risk. Pediatricians are encouraged to discuss infection control strategies, including physical distancing, handwashing and vaccination for those eligible, with patients and families, especially as more people shed their masks.

“When you wear a mask, you protect others as well as yourself, especially if you are not vaccinated and/or are around others who are not vaccinated,” according to the AAP guidance. Masks are not a substitute for physical distancing.

The updated AAP guidance recommends wearing face masks:

  • indoors when the unvaccinated individual will be with those from outside their household (physical distancing also should be maintained);
  • outdoors when the unvaccinated individual is in large group settings (physical distancing also should be maintained); and
  • during indoor and outdoor sports that require close contact (with some exceptions).

Regardless of vaccination status, everyone should wear a face mask when traveling on a plane, bus, train or other form of public transportation in and outside the U.S. and at hubs such as airports and bus stations, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal