Children And Face Masks

Children And Face Masks

Should Children Wear Face Masks?

With the coronavirus raging around the world, it’s understandable that we want to keep our loved ones safe. The adult population has adapted well to the request to wear face masks, however concerns have been raised over children wearing face masks.

As parents and caregivers, it seems counterintuitive to place something over a child’s face which may hinder breathing, but do the benefits outweigh the risks? Here we’ll take a look at a number of factors influencing this decision.

Are There Age Limits To Children Wearing Face Masks?

Around the world there are various rules concerning at which age children should be required to wear face masks, all based on different data. For example, in the USA the CDC recommends all children above 2 should wear one, whereas in Australia and Scotland this is raised to 5. In places such as England and Wales, the lower limit for wearing face masks is 11 years old.

This disparity from place to place can cause questions to arise, however our common sense tells us that only children who are able to understand the need for a mask should wear one. We don’t want to cause unnecessary harm to children during the pandemic, and the younger the child the greater the risk of suffocation if they cannot remove it themselves safely.

How Great Is The Risk Of Coronavirus In Children?

Thankfully, coronavirus does not pose a significant threat to normal, healthy children with no pre-existing health conditions. The World Health Organization states that less than 8.5% of all coronavirus cases occur in children under the age of 18 years.

This is great news and alleviates many worries of parents, however just because children do not tend to become seriously ill with the disease, it does not mean they cannot pass it on to vulnerable adults. Due to this, precautions should be taken if they test positive for coronavirus.

How Can I Make Mask Wearing Easier For My Child?

Here are a few great ideas to get your child used to wearing their face mask if they seem hesitant. Of course, children with special needs or who are unable to remove a mask themselves should not wear one.

  • Buy a colorful mask, maybe even one with their favorite cartoon character on it
  • Purchase a white mask and decorate it so it becomes more personalized to the child
  • Find images of other children who are wearing them so your child feels included
  • Speak to your child about the safety issues of mask wearing
  • Place a face mask on their favorite toy or stuffed animal to make it more fun
  • Talk to your child clearly about how to put one on, in a language they understand

We all want to do the best to protect our children from the world, including from a pandemic which has swept the world claiming the lives of thousands of people, and we need to remember to treat each child on an individual basis when it comes to whether they should wear a face mask or not.