Guidance on Mask Exemptions in Children and Adolescents

I know these requests started rolling in weeks ago, but for anyone still struggling with a strong policy document relating to the demand from parents that their children not be required to wear a mask, here’s a great document produced by the VT Chapter of the AAP and the Vermont Children’s Hospital.

Bottom line: if your kid needs a doctor to write a mask exemption, they shouldn’t be in school in the first place.

VT Mask Expemptions in Children and Adolescents.pdf (131.3 KB)


Vermont Rocks and what a collaboration between VCHIP, VDH, UVM Pediatric infectious disease and community pediatricians across the state!

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Thank you for sharing @Chip. This has been a big topic here in Michigan after Governor Whitmer’s recent executive orders expanding the resumption of organized sports to include indoor sports and sports unable to maintain social distancing. The executive order includes a requirement for masks when social distancing is not possible.

Here are the executive orders:
Safe Start (176):,9309,7-387-90499_90705-538730--,00.html
Clarification of Mask Guidance for Organized Sports (180):,9309,7-387-90499_90705-539379--,00.html

Here are two resources from Michigan Medicine that we are using:

And here is an email we sent to families:

We have had a few experiences recently with parents calling for mask exemptions , but then being upset that they were scheduled for a telemedicine visit only to be told that their child cannot have a mask exemption. This is challenging as we never want to put the reception staff in the position of making clinical judgments about what type of help the parent needs.

Here is the guidance we are providing the reception staff to use on the phone:

  • I am happy to schedule a telemedicine visit so that you can discuss your mask exemption request with a provider. However, I do need to let you know that we have not signed off on an exemption yet and it is very unlikely that you will be able to get an exemption letter from us.
  • You can also say that the circumstances that warrant a mask exemption are rare, but the provider is happy to review them and see if your child fits that profile and also can review a number of strategies from the medical literature that can help your child with mask wearing.
  • Parents are always welcome to send a portal message instead of a visit. This takes the pressure off the reception staff as the provider who receives the message can either answer it directly or forward to the reception staff indicating that the situation is complex enough to require a visit.