Children as young as four months can wear masks ?

  • 2021-03-03
  • 1158

A small new study found that children as young as four months old did not experience any respiratory change as a result of wearing a surgical mask, raising questions about mask advice for young children. 

The study, published Tuesday in JAMA Network Open,looked at 47 children between the ages of four months and 12 years, and measured their breathing while wearing surgical masks during normal play activities and light exercise.

“These findings may help promote the use of surgical masks among children, especially in view of the reopening of schools,” the study stated.  While governments and health officials recommend the wearing of face masks for almost everyone as an essential step in fighting the spread of COVID-19, there’s one population exempt from this: infants and very young children. 

Because children are statistically less affected by COVID-19 — in general, they catch it less often, and are less likely to have serious outcomes if they do fall ill — the question of young children in masks hasn’t been raised very often during the pandemic.

But increasing evidence has shown that children with asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 can spread the virus to those around them, and that even if children don’t seem ill, they can still be carrying high levels of the virus.

This new study out of Italy aimed to find out if there was scientific evidence that wearing masks is detrimental for very young children.

“The evidence for adverse outcomes associated with face mask use among children is poor, and the benefits of preventing individuals without symptoms or with mild symptoms from spreading the infection is obvious,” the study stated.

Between May 2020 and June 2020, researchers looked at a small cohort of children, splitting them into two groups: Group A, which had children less than two years old, and Group B, which was children between two and 12 years of age.

Two days before a child was assessed, researchers sent parents home with single-use surgical masks to get their children accustomed to wearing them in short intervals at home.

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