It’s important to remember that protective face masks are not recommended for all children, particularly babies and toddlers. Most children are able to wear a mask safely by age 2, but every child is different.
Using a cloth face mask on an infant whose airway is small can increase the risk of suffocation. Cloth face coverings may be safe for older children. However, children should not wear a cloth face mask in the following circumstances:
If you need to take your infant into a public place where you cannot practice social distancing:
For some children, wearing protective face masks may seem a little scary. Some children may not want to wear a cloth face mask because it makes them feel different. Parents can help ease their fears by putting a cloth face mask on themselves and explaining how it works. Other ideas include placing a face mask on a child’s stuffed animal or doll.
To offer protection, cloth face coverings should:
Remember, staying home is your best protection. Anyone who has a fever and respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms such as cough, congestion, runny nose, diarrhea, or vomiting should isolate themselves and go out only to seek medical attention.