PA Department of Education and Department of Human Services Notice Regarding Masking in Schools and Child Abuse Reporting
Mask wearing for children 2 and older does not obstruct breathing and is not child abuse.
Due to recent and ongoing concerns received regarding masking children in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in schools, this letter is being shared. Since Sept. 1, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) ChildLine has received approximately 50 reports mentioning masking. DHS’ Office of Children, Youth, and Families has received requests for confirmation that masking, in line with guidelines from health officials, is not a form of child abuse. While Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law describes obstructing a child’s breathing as child abuse, mask wearing for children 2 and older does not obstruct breathing and is not child abuse. See attached letter below: