Survey: 14 kids collapsed, 84% experienced shortness of breath under sports mask mandate

11 kids had to seek emergency medical treatment, according to the survey.

Infographic on mask mandate survey results created by Let Them Play MN.

Fourteen kids collapsed and another 84% experienced shortness of breath during the first seven days of Minnesota’s mask mandate for youth sports.

That’s according to the results of an informal survey released Wednesday by Let Them Play MN, a grassroots advocacy group that has spearheaded the fight against Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 restrictions on youth athletics.

The Minnesota Department of Health allowed schools to resume practices on Jan. 4 and games returned on Thursday, but players are required to wear masks at all times, with very few exceptions.

A press release said 48% of the more than 2,500 respondents experienced dizziness while 11 kids had to seek emergency medical treatment.

“The results of this survey speak for themselves — mandatory mask requirements during competition are dangerous,” said Let Them Play Founder and Executive Director Dawn Gillman.

“In the first week of the mask mandate, 11 kids needed emergency medical attention and even more collapsed during practice. What is it going to take for MDH and Gov. Walz to take notice and protect our young athletes?” she said.

Gillman said her organization is hoping the survey results will persuade the governor to loosen mask requirements for youth sports. The group is most alarmed by the fact that the results reflect just the first seven days of the mask mandate.

“Gov. Walz has the chance to do the right thing and end the mask mandate for youth sports before games start this week,” Gillman said in a Wednesday press release, the day before competition resumed. “Our kids count on our leaders to stand up for them. We pray Gov. Walz will follow the data and let kids play safely without masks.”