The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth facing coverings in public settings to help slow transmission of coronavirus disease 2019, but its recommendation does not apply to everyone.
However, according to its related web page, “Cloth face coverings should NOT be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.”
Why Shouldn’t My Infant Use a Mask?
- Baby’s airways are smaller, so breathing through a mask is even harder on them.
- Using a mask on an infant may increase the risk of suffocation. Masks are harder to breathe through. A snug fit will give them less access to air, and a loose fit will not provide much protection.
- If they are having a hard time breathing, infants are unable to take the mask off themselves and could suffocate.
- Older infants or young toddlers are not likely to keep the mask on and will likely try to remove it, as well as touch their face more.
- There are no N95 masks approved for young children.
How Can I Protect My Infant?
- Limit exposure and avoid unnecessary public contact.
- If going out is essential, consider using a Sweet Baby Shade, which helps protect and shield your babies face, but still gives them the ability to breathe comfortably.
- Keep your hands clean. Frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds is optimal, but hand sanitizer, with at least 60% alcohol is the next best substitute.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, light switches and electronics often.
- Teach older children to avoid touching their faces.
- If a parent cannot leave the young infant at home and is pressed to go into the public, keep the outing short and always follow the 6 feet distancing rule.
- Remember always to wash your hands (and any siblings hands) as soon as you return home.