With the flu-like pandemic affecting millions, you’re probably anxious about COVID-19 as a parent. Many experts have placed in protocols to control infection and one of them is wearing face masks. So, here’s what you need to know about kids wearing cloth face masks.
What do health authorities say about wearing cloth face masks?
To help prevent the spread of the deadly virus, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) urges people to wear cloth face coverings when in public. Along with social distancing and washing hands, you can help prevent getting infected by others or infecting someone (if you’re asymptomatic).
However, health authorities have stressed that face masks should not replace social distancing or maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from other people.
In public, you need to wear these face coverings when you go grocery shopping or need a check-up. If there are no people around, such as in an empty park, you don’t need to as long as your child doesn’t touch surfaces.
What age can my child wear cloth face masks?
Health experts recommend cloth face masks for kids older than 2 years old.
Two considerations you need to understand about wearing face masks are ease of breathing and choking. When someone is having trouble breathing, you might need to follow other precautions instead.
If my child is severely immunocompromised, should he or she wear cloth face masks too?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your child should wear an N95. If your family is considered high risk, you need to wear surgical masks for protection.
Where can I get face masks?
You can make them yourself or you can buy nice face masks for your kids. If you’re on a tight budget, there are a lot of Youtube tutorials you could watch to learn how to make face masks.
Make sure to consider the right size and a secure fit for your child’s face mask. You don’t want it falling off while he or she is walking or restrict the airway.
How can I help my child wear a face mask in public?
This depends on your child’s age. Younger children understand better through stories, songs, or even videos. Make it interactive and fun.
It’s also helpful if you can find face mask designs that they like.
For older children, you can explain why they are needed. It’s also good to prepare for additional questions they might have.
Also, remember to be a role model and have patience. You might encounter some resistance but the more you practice with them, the more comfortable they’ll be with this new normal. In no time, you’d have your kids wearing cloth face masks.
How do I wash cloth face masks?
You can hand wash or use the washing machine.
If you choose to hand wash, the CDC advises to soak them in a bleach solution (5 tablespoons household bleach per gallon of room temperature water) for 5 minutes.
As for the washing machine, you can put the face masks along with your usual laundry and use the warmest suitable water temperature.