A note on requests for medical exemptions to face masks

| 15 Sep 2021 | 04:44

Editor’s note: The Little Pediatrics medical office in Port Jervis posted the following message on its Facebook page:

We’ve been receiving lots of phone calls from parents and caregivers, asking us to sign a medical exemption form so their child doesn’t have to wear a mask at school. We’re hearing from many parents that school districts have been assuring them that we and other pediatric offices will sign them.

We will only sign them if a child has a medical or developmental history that warrants an exemption as outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

As pediatricians, we assess the individual needs of our patients, and then recommend the best course of action to keep them as safe and healthy as possible.

We’ve heard — loudly, angrily, even profanely — from parents who just want us to sign the form. We understand your concern. And, because so many of us are parents ourselves, we empathize with your fear, your frustration and your absolute exhaustion after eighteen months of a global pandemic.

But please know that we will never make a recommendation, or support a cause of action, that could harm or endanger your child.

We ask that you respect our expertise and our professional ethics.

We ask that you please refrain from yelling, threatening, and swearing at our Little Pediatrics Team members — both on the phone and in the office — who communicate those things to you.

Most especially, we ask that, just as you have all along, you trust us to do the right thing, to follow the evidence and the data, and to provide the best possible care for your children.