Sep 25 , 2020
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to surge all over the world, many parents have considered buying a face mask for their young children. And while face masks are vital to our safety and protection, they may not be so great for babies and toddlers.
Face masks aren’t advised for children under 2 years old due to several factors. Babies and toddlers can’t breathe well while wearing face coverings due to their smaller airways. Since they aren’t old enough to remove face masks on their own, they may end up suffocating due to a lack of oxygen.
The strings and elastic bands used to attach face masks to the head can also pose a significant choking risk for very young children. Your child may end up strangling himself trying to remove a face mask on his own. Any product with strings is also a huge no-no for babies since they can easily wrap around tiny necks, arms, and legs once your back is turned.
Young and curious kids can also end up touching their faces even more while wearing a face mask—thus making it easier for bacteria to spread to their eyes, noses, and mouths. Even if you try to watch over your little one 24/7 to make sure that they aren’t touching anything, their curiosity can still get the better of them at any moment’s notice.
Better Ways to Protect Your Baby
Following proper safety procedures is the best way to keep children under 2 safe from the COVID-19 Pandemic. You don’t have to bring your child out of the house if your gut tells you it isn’t the right time yet. But if you’re thinking of bringing your baby to the outside world, here are some essential safety tips to remember:
- Always stick to the six-feet rule when bringing your baby to meet people. Make sure family members, friends, teachers, and other visitors stand 6 feet away from you and your baby at all times.
- Your baby might not be able to wear a face mask yet, but older kids and adults sure can. To ensure your child’s protection from infection and illness, you can request visitors to wear a face mask while they’re around or in the same room as your baby.
- Keep exposure and contact with others to a minimum. Kisses from grandma and strokes from tiny hands will have to wait until things get better.
- Clean surfaces, such as computer desks, staircase railings, and kitchen counters, as often as possible. Bacteria from dirty surfaces can easily spread from adult hands to tiny mouths and noses, after all.
- When going outside, place a blanket over your child’s baby carrier to lessen any risk of infection. But don’t cover the carrier with a blanket when you aren’t around to supervise properly.
- Practice proper and frequent handwashing. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you come home from work. It’s also vital to wash your hands before making physical contact with your child or preparing food or milk for them. You can also use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to keep any risk of illness and infection at 0%.
- Keep your child’s vaccines up to date. Without proper vaccination, your baby won’t be protected at all against common childhood illnesses and viral infections. Family doctors have now been advised to outfit their offices and staff with proper protective equipment, so you don’t have to worry about any risk to your child’s health during check-ups.
Older Kids and Face Masks
Children older than 2 should wear face coverings or masks in places where social distancing can’t always be maintained, such as in school and the grocery, or while participating in clubs. It’s also best to consult your pediatrician to know more about effective infection-prevention procedures, and what measures to take in case your child experiences breathing problems due to his face mask.
It’s also vital to teach your children about sickness prevention. Let kids know about how viruses and bacteria spread, and why they shouldn’t touch their faces or face masks all the time. You can also purchase cloth face masks designed with their favorite characters to make mask wearing less scary and much more fun for them.
If your child is anxious or afraid of wearing a face mask, be patient and gently talk things through with him. Wear your own face mask in front of him to show that it isn’t scary and dangerous. Answer questions and explain how to properly wear a face mask in age-appropriate ways. Don’t fear-monger or use threats, though. This will only discourage your child from wearing a face mask even more.
Cloth face coverings are perfectly fine for young children to use according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Just make sure your chosen face mask has enough filters and protective features for proper illness prevention. Surgical masks and N-95 respirators aren’t necessary, and should be reserved for medical frontliners at risk of exposure to sick people.
Whether you have a baby or older child in the family, supplying your home with a complete family first-aid kit is always important. The Watolt Baby Nasal Aspirator is a great baby care essential designed to relieve breathing problems due to heavy nasal congestion without any strain or delay. Order yours from our online store today!