COVID-19: At what age should children wear masks?

COVID-19: At what age should children wear masks?

Are you worried about your toddler's protection against COVID-19 and wondering if they too should wear a mask? This is what the World Health Organisation has to say on the matter.

Toddler wearing a mask
Toddler wearing a mask/ iStock

Wearing a mask is compulsory in South Africa as it helps protect against contracting the coronavirus. However, when it comes to toddlers, the wearing of masks is not easy.  

Children are very playful and trying to keep their mask on might be difficult. 

So, at what age should children wear masks?

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According to the World Health Organisation, it is not compulsory for children under the age of five to wear masks. 

“In general, children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks. This advice is based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask with minimal assistance,” states the World Health Organisation site.

It recommends that toddlers wear masks under the guidance of an adult in the case where they are in close contact with someone who is infected with the virus. In such instances, children are advised to wear non-medical or fabric masks if they are not sick and medical masks if they have underlying medical conditions.

READ: Video went viral after woman refused to wear mask at supermarket

The organisation warns against children wearing masks during physical activity because it compromises their breathing. 

"Children should not wear a mask when playing sports or doing physical activities, such as running, jumping or playing on the playground, so that it doesn’t compromise their breathing," states the website. 

Image courtesy of iStock/ @Mario De Moya F

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