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Along with physically distancing and good hand washing, cloth face masks are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Some parents may have questions and concerns about cloth face masks, and we're here to help.


Will wearing a mask make it harder​ for my child to breathe?

There have been concerns that cloth face masks can reduce oxygen intake and lead to low blood oxygen levels, known as hypoxemia. However, Smart Pro Mask cloth face masks are made from breathable materials that will not block the oxygen your child needs. Masks do not affect your child's ability to focus or learn in school. The vast majority of children aged 2 or older can safely wear a cloth face covering for extended periods of time, such as the school day or childcare. This includes children with many medical conditions. 


Can face masks interfere with a child's lung development?

No, wearing a cloth face mask will not affect your child's lungs from developing normally. This is because oxygen flows through and around the mask while blocking respiratory droplets that may contain the virus. We know that keeping your child's lungs healthy is important, which includes preventing infections like COVID-19. 


Why are some kids afraid of face masks?

When masks partly hide faces, kids can't see the friendly smile or familiar look that usually puts them at ease. When kids can't see the person's whole face, it's harder to feel safe. But gradually, parents can help kids feel more comfortable. Even very young kids can learn that something that seemed frightening at first isn't anything to be afraid of after all.


Do face masks trap the carbon dioxide ​that we normally breathe out?

No. There have been false reports that face coverings can lead to carbon dioxide poisoning from re-breathing the air we normally breathe out. But this is not true. Carbon dioxide molecules are very tiny, even smaller than respiratory droplets. Smart Pro Mask and other cloth face masks are made of breathable materials that cannot trap them. In fact, surgeons wear tight-fitting masks all day as part of their jobs, without any harm. 

However, children under 2 years of age should not wear masks since they cannot remove them without help. Children with severe breathing problems or cognitive impairments may also have difficulty tolerating a face mask, and extra precautions may be needed. 


Can face masks lead to a weaker immune​ system by putting the body under stress? 

No. Wearing a cloth face mask does not weaken your immune system or increase your chances of getting sick if exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Wearing a fabric face mask, even if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, helps prevent the virus from spreading. 


How can parents help kids with face masks?

Cloth face masks on adults and kids over 2 years old can help slow the virus's spread. Here are some ways to help kids wear masks when you go out:

  • Help kids get used to masks. As much as you can, provide time for kids to practice wearing their masks while at home. Teach them how to put them on and take them off.
  • Encourage kids to decorate their fabric face masks. A personal touch can help it become a normal part of their routine and make it more likely they'll want to wear their mask. 
  • Make it fun. With younger kids, introduce a sense of play. Kids can play doctor or nurse while wearing their masks. You could even try incorporating a doctor kit for them to "take care" of a stuffed animal or doll.
  • Have a few masks available while kids play. This lets them use their imagination about how to use them during playtime. It also helps normalize masks as part of their everyday world. You can have your child put a mask on a stuffed animal and then ask why it is wearing the mask. 

How do masks prevent the ​​spread of COVID-19? 

When worn correctly, fabric face masks create a barrier that reduces the spray of respiratory droplets. These droplets are a large factor in the spread of COVID-19 because they can carry the virus. Masks also can protect you from others who may have coronavirus but are asymptomatic.  

Some toddlers and young children may feel uneasy about masks and may need extra support and comfort from their parents. Parents can help kids understand why they might need to wear a mask and make them more comfortable and even fun to wear.