Mask Exemption Policy

As Pediatricians, we have an obligation to protect the health of all children. In developing this policy, we invested in a great deal of thought and research. We were also guided by the recommendations of the Utah Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Primary Children’s Hospital.


  • Medical exemptions from wearing a mask are rare and should be carefully considered
    • Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 
      • Many children with developmental disabilities have other medical conditions that place them at higher risk for complications from coronavirus infections.  Masking is protective for them.
      • Rather than focusing on exemptions, help parents look at mask wearing as a life skill that can be taught, same as getting dressed, brushing teeth.
      • When applicable, instruct parents to have the child’s behavior team institute a program to teach and reward mask wearing behavior just like they teach any other desired behavior.
    • Children with asthma or other pulmonary conditions 
      • From Brian McGinley, MD Pediatric pulmonologist – “There is no evidence that a surgical or cloth mask impairs O2 intake or leads to CO2 retention.”  Remind parents that surgeons and operating room personnel wear these masks for hours a day on a routine basis.


UVP recommends that children should wear a mask while in school. If a child cannot wear a mask, they should make arrangements for learning at home. If they attend school but need to remove the mask because of an acute situation such as a severe asthma attack, the child should finish the day at home and be allowed to do this without penalty.

Other arrangements with the school for learning should be made for special needs children who may not be capable of wearing a mask. UVP recommends the parents or guardians work with the school to develop an IEP or 504 plan. The school understands the educational situation best and is in the best positon to determine the best solution and use of school resources. An exemption should not be provided by UVP.

Therefore, exemptions to wearing a mask while attending a “traditional classroom” in school will not be provided to parents.

Stay connected to your children’s health:

Want pediatric news, kid-friendly recipes and parenting tips?
Sign up for our patient parent newsletter:

Other great ways to connect: