Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a face mask is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself against this highly-communicable virus. But masks are not for everyone. In fact, experts claimed that putting face masks on toddlers may cause more harm than good.
Some parents put face masks on their young kids thinking it will protect them from COVID-19. However, experts do not recommend this practice. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that kids under two years old should not wear face masks.
How face mask can endanger your child’s life
While face masks can be a life-saver for adults, it can be the opposite for young kids. On their website, CDC advised the public against putting face masks on toddlers, people with breathing problems, and unconscious individuals.
But how can a face mask endanger your child’s life? Dr. Michael Cappello, a neonatologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital, claimed that face masks may obstruct a toddler’s airways.
Read also: 6 Tips to Protect Your Kids From Coronavirus
“Infants should never wear a mask. Infants can actually accidentally suffocate. In fact, masks should be avoided for a child of any age if the mask will represent a choking or strangulation hazard, if the mask causes difficulty breathing, and/or the mask prompts the child to touch his or her face frequently.”
Unlike adults, babies or toddlers have smaller airways. This makes it more difficult for them to breathe through a cloth mask. If they can’t remove the mask, it could lead to suffocation.
Face mask may not be as effective for children
Simply wearing a face mask is only the first step from protecting yourself against COVID-19. While wearing a face mask, you should also refrain from touching your face. Coronavirus often makes its way inside the body via your nose, eyes, or mouth.
When they’re wearing a face mask, children are more likely to touch their face. This just increases their risk of contracting or transmitting the virus to others.
As of now, there is still no approved face masks for babies that are guaranteed to be safe, so be wary of buying face masks online that claims to work on babies.
What’s a safer alternative for babies?
Instead of wearing face masks, parents should practice social distancing and proper hygiene. Unless absolutely necessary, do not take your child in a public place with crowded people, where the risk of transmission is high.
Here are some of the way you can protect your children from coronavirus without wearing a mask:
1. Teach them proper social distancing.
2. Show your toddlers the correct way of washing their hands.
3. Limit physical contact with others. Say no to kisses or hugs from relatives or friends.
4. Don’t let other people touch your baby on the face.
5. When you’re using a stroller outside, consider putting a breathable cover over the stroller. Make sure your baby breathes comfortably.
6. Make sure to properly disinfect your home in times of COVID-19.
At the end of the day, it is the parents’ responsibility to keep their children safe. Lead them by a good example and always make sure to consult with professionals to know what’s the best for your child.