We've Got You Covered: Everything You Need to Know About Face Masks for Kids
We get it. It's tricky enough to get your kids to wash their hands properly and avoid touching their face. Now, the CDC is recommending that children over the age of two should wear face masks that cover their nose and mouth when in public settings. Easier said than done, right?
So, does that mean they need to wear a mask every time they leave the house? Monica + Andy resident pediatrician, Dr. Payal Adhikari, says that a mask is not necessarily needed if the kids are outside in an open area and able to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. However, she advises that as children can run off quickly, if there is a chance they could get within 6 feet of another person, just play it safe and wear a mask.
"Even when walking on a sidewalk, chances are you may be within the recommended six feet of others," says Dr. Adhikari. "So, best to wear a mask to protect themselves and others."
She also recommends parents keep the conversation as light as possible to avoid creating any anxiety and try to make the face masks into a fun activity for kids. For example, encourage them to pretend they're superheroes when wearing one or put a face mask on their favorite stuffed animal to match.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends you have your child practice wearing the mask at home first. They encourage parents to reassure children by emphasizing that these are steps we're all taking to stay safe -- and they have the power to do that by wearing a mask!
For kids under the age of two, Dr. Adhikari recommends using a car seat or bassinet cover to protect your little one when in public. And, always make sure they have the ability to breathe comfortably.
When choosing a face mask, the CDC Recommends that face masks have the following features:
- A snug fit that sits comfortably against the side of the face
- Ties or ear loops that keep it secure
- Multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- The ability to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape