Oxygen Saturation Depletion Measured in Children Wearing Masks at School in France During the Covid-19 Pandemic Years 2020-2022

Author(s): Collectif Citoyens Oxytest, Valère Lounnas, Alexis Lacout, Xavier Azalbert, Christian Perronne

Pulse oximeters were used to assess peripheral blood saturation in children at elementary school exit. 249 children were tested in 9 different collective citizenship actions organized in five cities. Oximetric measurements were performed with the children parents agreement under the supervision of a general practitioner or professional nurse in the presence of an usher or a sworn civil public officer. A questionnaire on the side effects and symptoms of wearing a mask at school for prolonged hours was offered to the children and their parents. 84.7% of the children declared having experienced one side effect such as headache, difficulty concentrating, abnormal fatigue, drowsiness, irritability, itching, skin eruption, anxiety... Difficulty breathing during the day (suffocation in one case) was reported by 56.4% (119/211) of the children who answered the questionnaire and 14.5% had a pathological oxygen saturation value SpO2 ≤ 95%. This study describes the profound physiological and psychological discomfort children have experienced wearing masks at school from end Oct. 2020 to Apr. 2022.

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