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  • In the U.S., Kids Over Age 2 Are Required To Wear Face Masks When Going Out

    The American Academy of Pediatrics releases guidelines for when kids should wear a face mask.
    by Rachel Perez .
In the U.S., Kids Over Age 2 Are Required To Wear Face Masks When Going Out
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Staying home is everyone’s contribution to helping contain COVID-19. In any event that would require you to go out with your kids, make sure you provide your little one with a face mask that fits properly.

    In the U.S., the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reiterates the new recommendation of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that children older than age 2 should wear cloth face masks when going out. This is to protect the children and the community.

    “The purpose of people wearing masks in public right now is to protect the community. Since so many people who have COVID-19 don’t have symptoms, wearing masks can help reduce the possibility that someone with no symptoms could transmit the disease to others,” the AAP wrote in their guidelines.

    If you need to bring your baby outside, the AAP recommends covering the infant carrier with a blanket. This helps protect the baby but still allows them to breathe comfortably. However, don’t leave the baby and the carrier covered when in the car or whenever you don’t have them in your direct view.

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    In the Philippines, everyone is required to stay home as imposed by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine . Only one person is allowed to go out when buying food and essentials and is required to wear a mask when doing so.

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    Make sure the mask fits your child properly

    For a cloth face mask to effectively shield anyone from COVID-19, it should fit properly. Pleated masks with elastics or a cloth face mask work best for children, but again, having the right size is essential. A face mask should cover the child’s nose and mouth nose and mouth and stretch from before the ear to the other side.

    While your child is wearing a mask, encourage him not to touch the mask or his/her face. Wash your hands before and after you remove your child’s mask. Remove the mask from behind without touching the front. If your child is using a cloth face mask, it should be washed after every use.

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    How to encourage your child to wear a mask

    Talk to your child about wearing a cloth face mask when going out. Do this in front of a mirror so your child can see what it looks like on him. If your child has questions, try to answer his questions as truthfully but as simple as possible.

    “An important way to reassure children is to emphasize how you are taking steps to stay safe. Children feel empowered and less afraid when they know what to do to keep themselves safe,” the AAP stressed.

    Other ways of encouraging a child to wear a face mask include putting a mask on her stuffed toy, drawing his favorite character wearing a mask, showing photos of other children wearing a mask, and decorating his own mask. You can also let your kid practice wearing a mask at home in preparation for going out.

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    When a child does not need to wear a mask

    Children do not need to wear a mask when at home, assuming that they have not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19. The AAP and the CDC don’t recommend kids younger than age 2 to wear a mask. It’s also unlikely to find a mask that fits a small child perfectly.

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    Wearing a mask is also not recommended for anyone who has trouble breathing or unable to remove the cloth face mask without assistance due to risks of suffocation. It’s also not recommended if the only face covering available may pose a danger of choking or strangulation, or your child can’t refrain from touching his face or the mask while wearing it.

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