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Does My Child Need to Wear a Face Mask? Here's What You Should Know

Does My Child Need to Wear a Face Mask? Here's What You Should Know

“Does my child need to wear a face mask?” This is a question that a lot of parents have been asking ever since the pandemic started. After all, parents are worried about how masks can affect their child’s breathing, but they’re also worried about their child getting sick.

Read on to learn more about the importance of wearing masks, how to make kids comfortable, and some reminders about masks for kids.

Does my child need to wear a face mask?

Everyone needs to wear a mask in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. The mask works to both protect the wearer against viruses in the air, and prevents sick people from spreading the virus1.

This is because when a person who has the virus coughs, sneezes, or even talks, they can spread droplets that contain the virus. In the case of COVID-19, these droplets are airborne, so a person can accidentally inhale these droplets and get sick.

By wearing masks, people who are sick can’t spread the virus, and those who are healthy are protected from inhaling these droplets.

5 Tips to Protect Your Kids from COVID-19, From a Mom Whose 8 Year Old Had It

Children aren’t safe against COVID-19

Does my child need to wear a face mask? When it comes to COVID-19, those who are most at risk are people with comorbidities, as well as the elderly. However, this does not mean that young people and children are “safer” or are less susceptible to this disease.

Children still need to wear masks since it helps protect them from COVID-192. Inversely, children who might have COVID-19 need to wear masks as they can become carriers of the disease. It’s possible that they could pass on the illness to their grandparents or other elderly members of the family who are more vulnerable to the disease.

Another thing to remember is that children still can’t be vaccinated against COVID-19. So wearing a mask and following safety precautions is the best way of making sure that they don’t get sick.

Other safety precautions should also be followed

After understanding that yes is the answer to “Does my child need to wear a face mask?”, parents must now try implementing it.

Aside from wearing masks, it’s important for parents to teach their children the proper safety precautions when it comes to COVID-19.

These precautions include the following:

  • Washing the hands often, especially if they touched anything outside
  • Keeping their distance from other people
  • Avoiding crowded places
  • Avoiding people who are sick, or who have been exposed to someone who is sick

By making sure to follow these important safety precautions, parents can make sure that their kids as well as their entire family can be free from disease.

How to make masks more comfortable for kids

In some cases, children might find that wearing a mask for long periods of time might not feel comfortable. This can be a problem because children might take off their masks, which exposes them to infection.

So it is important for parents to know how to make masks more comfortable for kids. The more at ease and comfortable kids are with wearing a mask, the more inclined they will be to keep the mask on.

Here are some important things to remember:

  • Be sure to have the right sized face mask for your child. Face masks for adults don’t fit them well, and it can be a source of discomfort.
  • Children who are 2-5 years old should have masks that are roughly 6 inches wide, for 5-12 year-olds it should be 7 inches wide, and for adolescents, 9 inches wide3.
  • Children might feel anxious about wearing a mask, and that’s okay. It might be a good idea to get them comfortable with it first by asking them to wear it around the house before going out and wearing it outside4.
  • You can also encourage your child to wear a mask by wearing a mask yourself. This shows them that it’s safe and comfortable to wear a mask.
  • Be sure to explain to your child why they need to wear a mask. The more they understand its importance, the more inclined they would be to wear it.

Wearing a mask shouldn’t feel like a chore to your child. Make wearing masks a fun activity, and be sure to praise them for following the necessary safety precautions.

In gist, does my child need to wear a face mask? Yes, it’s recommended.

Learn more about Coronavirus here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

  1. Wearing Face Masks and How to Explain It to Kids | Lifespan, https://www.lifespan.org/lifespan-living/wearing-face-masks-and-how-explain-it-kids, Accessed June 16, 2021
  2. Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in Children | CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/protect-children.html, Accessed June 16, 2021
  3. Cloth Face Mask, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/coronavirus/_documents/Child-Size-Mask-Instructions.pdf, Accessed June 16, 2021
  4. Face masks & COVID-19: supporting children | Raising Children Network, https://raisingchildren.net.au/guides/coronavirus-covid-19-guide/face-masks-coronavirus-children, Accessed June 16, 2021
  5. To mask or not to mask children to overcome COVID-19, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7210459/, Accessed June 16, 2021
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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 17, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel