Even if the interveners working with certain vulnerable clienteles will now be able to use face coverings with transparent windows, associations criticize the fact that infants in childcare settings remain the “great forgotten”.
“It’s still time and months of wasted for our little ones,” worries Sophy Forget-Bélec, president of the Quebec Association of Private Educational Family Environments.
“All we are asking is to expand these new measures by adding infants, who are in the process of learning language.
“We do not understand why they remain forgotten,” she continues.
In fact, on November 13, the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) modified its standards, now authorizing the wearing of “non-certified” transparent window masks. for those working with certain clienteles.
Thus, people working with clienteles targeted by the CNESST will be able to wear “house masks” fitted with a transparent window.
These are people with hearing or vision impairments, as well as people with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder.
The CNESST specifies in particular that “the fact of not seeing the whole face of the worker can cause the user to become disorganized if he does not recognize the worker”.
The new regulations also allow people working with seniors with loss of cognitive abilities to wear this type of mask “not certified” by Public Health.
For the Association of People with Hearing Impairments, this is good news. However, we deplore the lack of measures for young children.
“A child who encounters a language difficulty due to the mask, it is as if in coherence with the hearing-impaired person. We would therefore like everyone to have access to these masks, on an equitable basis, ”says the association’s director, Marie-Hélène Tremblay.
Until recently, only one procedural mask, therefore disposable, was authorized by the health authorities. However, this one is made in the USA and is out of stock.
In addition, following our report on the harmful effects of the wearing of masks by educators in childcare settings, published recently, a petition was launched on the platform. Avaaz.org, calling for the compulsory wearing of a mask with a transparent window for all childcare workers.
The petition, addressed to Prime Minister François Legault, as well as to the national director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, collected more than 1,000 signatures in less than a week.
Its instigator, Carine Boudreault, wants these masks to be made available in daycare, “as quickly as possible”.
“It is very worrying,” said the mother of two children, aged three years and nine months.
“Every day counts for the development of the toddlers in this at-risk cohort,” she says.