We are experiencing a critical time during the coronavirus pandemic. Most mothers are keen to stay at home to ensure their little ones’ safety. However, many mothers are obliged to go out and take their kids with them due to the lockdown of nurseries, the social distancing applied with grandparents, and the risk of having a nanny at home. That’s why mothers started to consider face masks for their kids to avoid any risk. Some try to use a surgical mask, while others buy cloth masks that are circulating among Facebook shopping groups.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, face masks or cloth face coverings are not recommended for children under the age of two and might cause hypoventilation and accidental suffocation. This applies to plastic face shields as well, especially for newborns and infants.
Reasons why they might increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and strangulation:
- A baby’s airways are smaller than those of adults. So, breathing through a mask is harder.
- If infants have difficulty in breathing, they will not be able to take off the mask by themselves.
- Older babies and toddlers will definitely get irritated by the mask and try to take it off and even touch their faces more.
How can I protect my baby?
Even if you’re social distancing and staying at home, it’s challenging not to leave the house for a scheduled vaccination shot or a pediatrics appointment and you will have to take your baby with you.
Here are some tips that might help you limit the possibility of infection for your little one:
- Cover the baby’s carrycot, car seat, or stroller with a cover that enables him to breathe.
- Follow the 6 feet distancing rule.
- Keep your toddler’s hands clean with frequent washing.
- Try to occupy him with a toy to avoid touching his face.
Further reading: IMPORTANT: Tips To Spot Real vs. Fake Surgical Face Masks