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Mass COVID-19 testing is physically harmful to children.

COVID-19 tests are safe and effective. There have been no reports of tests harming children.

Testing children for COVID-19 has long since been questioned, largely because the tests can be seen as "invasive." Some fear the experience of getting tested might be physically and/or mentally harmful for children. Others add that children are at low risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, and so such testing may not be necessary.

A similar claim is currently doing the rounds on Facebook, citing a report written by the All-Party Parliamentary Group, which was published this month after a cross-party between members of parliament.

The MPs discussed how mass testing could mentally and physically harm children. They concluded that mass testing is "harmful, invasive and unevidenced."

The Lancet was published in 2021 about the importance of getting tested. Widespread testing and timely diagnosis are critical for pandemic control and preparedness. This is true for SARS-CoV-2, as asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals are vital in spreading the virus. There have been no reports of any harmful effects, physical or mental, to people who have been tested.

Children may show less severe symptoms of COVID-19, so it is essential to get them tested. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children get tested if they are symptomatic. No credible medical organization has advised against children getting tested.

The U.K. government has guidelines regarding testing kits given to children in school. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test kits are given to anyone who experiences any COVID-19 symptoms. PCR test kits are suitable for all ages, but parents and carers should administer the test to those age 11 and under. Schools must inform parents and guardians accordingly if providing a PCR test to pupils aged 16 or under.

There have been many baseless claims that testing is harmful to children and adults. However, these claims have been proven false. As Logically has previously reported, PCR tests for COVID-19 are accurate and reliable. Nasal swabs for PCR or lateral flow tests are not harmful.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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