MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota parents remain fired up about a mask mandate for youth sports. They say face coverings are making it harder for young athletes to breathe and, in some cases, causing injury.
A Senate panel Wednesday afternoon served as a chance for some of them to air out their concerns, telling a top official with the Minnesota Department of Health that they wish the state would reconsider.
The MDH says that it based its requirement off of guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends cloth face coverings for sports, including competition. Officials also say there have been higher rates of transmission for sports indoors like hockey.
But hockey parents told the committee the masks are causing problems for their children on the ice, including fainting, concussions and obstructed vision.
“Feeling confused, lightheaded and disoriented, she nearly fainted, and collapsed to the ice aisle. She laid on the ice, she had difficulty breathing and regulating her brain her breathing, unable to catch her breath,” parent Bobby Trost said. “I am fearful that as long as my daughter has to wear a mask while playing sports, this will happen again.”
The group Let Them Play MN sued Gov. Tim Walz and the state over the mask requirements to keep the mandate from being enforced. A federal judge denied that request.