Should Kids Wear Masks?
The covid pandemic doesn’t seem to end, and parents are worried about their kids attending in-person school. Kids should wear masks or not; it has become a topic of debate since the onset of Covid 19. Of course, kids of 2 years and above should wear masks in crowded areas and schools. Studies have shown that kids can also get Covid 19 viruses, but most of such cases are asymptomatic. Though kids are less likely to get affected by Covid, they can still spread the virus. Along with reducing the transmission risk of Covid, masks are now becoming a fashion statement.
As parents, you might have several queries like: What kind of masks should kids wear? Why should kids wear masks, and how to care for the masks? Some parents also have concerns about if masks can affect kids’ development or speech.
Finally, in this post, you’ll find satisfactory answers for kids’ mask-wearing. So, read it till the end.
Why Should Kids Wear Masks?
Before Covid 19 pandemic, your kids might not be familiar with masks. After Covid, when vaccines were still in progress, covering the face and mouth became mandatory for everyone. So, the answer for why kids should wear masks is; that kids have a well-developed, fresh, and strong immune system.
Most kids get asymptomatic Covid and are more likely to transmit the virus to others. Therefore, kids should wear masks because vaccines have not been approved yet for kids under 12 years.
What Are the Benefits Of Wearing Masks?
Mask-wearing has remarkable benefits for your kid’s health. Have a look at some of them.
- Masks protect your kids from respiratory illnesses related to dust, smoke and air pollution.
- Covering the face and mouth reduces the risk of getting contagious diseases.
- It decreases the severity of airborne allergies.
- Mask prevents the spread of viral respiratory diseases to others such as influenza, Covis-19, flu, etc.
What Kind of Mask Should Kids Wear?
Many types of masks are available in the market, such as surgical masks, N95 masks, and reusable fabric masks. The parent’s considerable confusion is about what kind of masks should kids wear? Your kids can wear any type of mask unless it fits them properly. Your child should be comfortable and wear it properly. If a mask fails to serve the purpose you wear it, then it will be of no use. For instance, if the face cover is loose and doesn’t filter the air, your kids shouldn’t wear it.
A surgical mask is good in blocking incoming viruses and stopping them from spreading if a child is infected. If we talk about maximum protection, an N95 mask is best that infiltrates maximum air, but kids can’t tolerate them since they are less breathable. Simple reusable double-layered fabric masks are comfortable and provide maximum protection.
Some kids have sensitive skin and suffer redness behind the ears after wearing masks. You can use headbands to fasten the hooks with buttons behind the head.
Are Masks Becoming a Fashion Statement?
Yes, fashion finds its way, and masks are becoming a fashion statement. You’ll find several cute fashion masks matching with outfits, so your kids can enjoy each event both with style and safety. A colourful, fashionable mask encourages kids to keep it on. They love to purchase one with their favourite cartoon character. You can reward your child if he keeps the mask on all day in school.
Some clothe masks have filters on them. These filters are of no use because air can easily flow around them rather than from filters. However, clothe masks with high-quality filters are better options for you and your kids.
What Age Do Children Have to Wear Masks?
According to health guidelines, all children of 2 years and above should wear masks. However, kids with special health issues who can’t uncover their faces by themselves are an exception because of suffocation risk.
Moreover, unconscious people who can’t remove the face covering should not wear one.
Why Shouldn’t Kids Wear Masks?
Some parents claim that their kids differently behave when wearing masks. They become less talkative and feel uncomfortable. It makes parents think if wearing masks is related to any speech and developmental issues in kids? According to a recently published journal, mask-wearing harms kids since it deprives them to read facial cues and others’ emotions. Without reading emotions, a child can’t develop great linguistic and face reading skills. They also experience reluctance to school and reduced interest in studies.
But, the National Institute of health studies claims that there is no evidence of masks affecting kids. And they consider it mandatory to keep your kids safe from the upcoming surge in Covid-19 cases.
Kids should wear a mask because it protects them from getting and spreading viruses. However, kids under 2 and special kids who can’t uncover their faces are exceptions. Every type of mask is suitable unless your kid knows how to wear it, and it should be of proper fitting. The claim that mask affect kids’ development needs more scientific research.