As teens and adults come-to-grips with wearing masks daily in the new Covid-19 world, there is still a gray area...children.
If you go to a public area there’s a good chance you’ll see kids wearing masks, but there’s also a good chance you’ll see kids without them. So how do we know when kids should and shouldn’t wear PPE masks?
Well, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is limited available data on the disease and transmission of it when it comes to children. However, WHO says that children 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks. WHO stated, “This is based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask with minimal assistance.” (Source: WHO Q&A)
At the same time, WHO came together with UNICEF to give advice on when children aged 6-11 should wear masks:
- Whether there is widespread transmission in the area where the child resides
- The ability of the child to safely and appropriately use a mask
- Access to masks, as well as laundering and replacement of masks in certain settings (such as schools and childcare services)
- Adequate adult supervision and instructions to the child on how to put on, take off and safely wear masks
- Potential impact of wearing a mask on learning and psychosocial development, in consultation with teachers, parents/caregivers and/or medical providers
- Specific settings and interactions the child has with other people who are at high risk of developing serious illness, such as the elderly and those with other underlying health conditions
(Bullet points taken from WHO Q&A)
Lastly, WHO and UNICEF have also stated that children aged 12 and older must where masks like adults, especially in places where social distancing is difficult to adhere to.
For more information feel free to check out the WHO Q&A we’ve linked, and stay safe!