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Please reconsider mandatory masks for toddlers

Daniellecrkl
New Arrival

We are definitely not anti-mask and wear them religiously when in public. However, if you have ever tried to make a spirited toddler to do anything you know it is not always possible. We practice as she is almost two, but at times she has complete meltdowns. After she turns two we can no longer travel by air because we fear one of those meltdowns may occur on a plane and we will be stranded somewhere or even worse out on a no fly list. I thought of all airlines,  SW would give parents with 2-3 year old toddlers some grace. 

The WHO doesn’t even recommend that children under 5 wear face masks, and European airlines have made the mandate much older. Asking a 2 year old to always behave and listen is not really or probable. You are preventing families, who you try to appeal to, from flying. This may not only hurt your bottom line, but also your reputation as being a family airline. 

6 REPLIES 6

Re: Please reconsider mandatory masks for toddlers

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor
Solution

Masks are now mandatory for all flyers age 2 and up because of a federal requirement.  This means even if Southwest wants to change the requirement it can't.

 

https://chicago.suntimes.com/coronavirus/2021/2/1/22260600/coronavirus-illinois-centers-disease-cont...

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Please reconsider mandatory masks for toddlers

ACESNEIGHTS
New Arrival

You can't travel with a two-year-old who can't wear a mask.

 

Thank you Uncle Joe for your total lack of consideration for families with toddlers. 

 

He could issue an executive order ordering the FAA/CC to follow WHO guidelines and not require masks for 2 to 5 year olds.

Re: Please reconsider mandatory masks for toddlers

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@Daniellecrkl wrote:

We are definitely not anti-mask and wear them religiously when in public. However, if you have ever tried to make a spirited toddler to do anything you know it is not always possible. We practice as she is almost two, but at times she has complete meltdowns. After she turns two we can no longer travel by air because we fear one of those meltdowns may occur on a plane and we will be stranded somewhere or even worse out on a no fly list. I thought of all airlines,  SW would give parents with 2-3 year old toddlers some grace. 

The WHO doesn’t even recommend that children under 5 wear face masks, and European airlines have made the mandate much older. Asking a 2 year old to always behave and listen is not really or probable. You are preventing families, who you try to appeal to, from flying. This may not only hurt your bottom line, but also your reputation as being a family airline. 


We did okay with our two-month old just recently. A few ideas:

 

  • Don't get to the airport too early - we were much earlier than usual and after wearing a mask for 3 hours at the airport and 2 hours on the flight even our good boy was struggling. 
  • Try to find less loaded flights if possible, if no one is around you then there won't be any complaints from passengers.
  • Bring a bottle/sippy cup since they are allowed to take their mask off to eat/drink just like anyone else. This is a jerk move for an adult, but a young kid should be able to stretch a bag of snack mix or plane crackers into an attitude reviving break.

But our biggest effort is that we live in an apartment building and little guy has been wearing a mask anytime we leave our unit for a while now even before he was two, and he look forward to it and demands his mask so he can go outside. 

 

If the toddler is not used to wearing a mask in general then of course it will be a struggle at the airport and on the airplane, there's no magic trick there.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Please reconsider mandatory masks for toddlers

shuebschma01
New Arrival

Toddlers can most definitely wear a mask.    I know mine does.  A parent needs to work with the toddler in advance.  If you can't do that, it just not the time for your family to fly.

Re: Please reconsider mandatory masks for toddlers

Daniellecrkl
New Arrival

Not every child has the same temperament, some toddlers are agreeable and some assert independence more often. Mine will wear a mask but not when in a “mood” which happens at least once or twice a day. It’s not reasonable to assume that a young toddler will comply when wanted to. I can’t get mine to use the potty or sit in a high chair longer than 5 minutes, how do they expect a toddler to wear a mask for 6 hours with compliance. The videos of kicking children off of flights were all kids that just wouldn’t wear one in the moment, which is absolutely heartless and even against the WHO recommendations. 

Re: Please reconsider mandatory masks for toddlers

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@Daniellecrkl wrote:

 I can’t get mine to use the potty or sit in a high chair longer than 5 minutes, how do they expect a toddler to wear a mask for 6 hours with compliance. The videos of kicking children off of flights were all kids that just wouldn’t wear one in the moment, which is absolutely heartless and even against the WHO recommendations. 


Again, you are dealing with a federal rule, and not just a Southwest policy. The feds require airlines to enforce the rule.

 

Your recourse is complain strenuously to your congresspeople and senators.