Masks will suffocate your infants.

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Beware of masks being marketed for babies to protect them from COVID-19. Infants and toddlers under the age of 2 should not be wearing masks, according to guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

When the digital creator at vibenami.com asked me this question I had to let her and other parents know that Infants have small airways and aren’t strong enough to change positions if they can’t breathe.  Putting on a mask could do more harm than good at least according to my First Aid knowledge.

According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, children under the age of two should not wear face masks as they may pose a suffocation risk.

The Putnam County Board of Commissioners released guidelines Wednesday detailing more information from the CDC about why young children should not be wearing face masks amid COVID-19 concerns. Those reasons are the following:

  • 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 try to remove it, as well as touch their faces more.
  • There are no N95 masks approved for young children.

Should Toddlers Wear Masks?

Toddlers, those children under two years of age, are also advised to not wear them because they are likely more ineffective.

“Some say that children even under three do not need to be masked given the difficulties of keeping a mask on,” Dr. Chitra Akileswaran – the cofounder of Cleo, a resource for working parents – said.

How Do We Keep Babies Safe Outside?

So, if our youngest children can’t wear masks, how do we keep them safe from the coronavirus?

Wheeler maintains that masks aren’t worn to keep the person wearing it safe. “Masks are mostly to protect others from folks with the virus, not to protect us from getting it,” she said. Still, she outlined options for reducing the risk of exposure to your baby while out in public:

  1. Limit unnecessary public contact.
  2. If you are wearing your baby, have them positioned with their face toward you.
  3. If your baby is in a stroller, consider positioning the seat so the baby is inward-facing. Cover it with a clear plastic rain cover or the awning down. You could also cover it with a light blanket under which they can breath comfortably, like you would if it were a sunny day.
  4. If your baby is being transported in a car seat, carry it with a breathable cover on, but remove it if the car seat is in the car or you can’t see your baby.
  5. When you return home, wash your hands before taking your baby out of the carrier or stroller.
  6. Wash pacifiers and “lovies” as often as possible.

Infants have small airways and aren’t strong enough to change positions if they can’t breathe.  Putting on a mask could do more harm than good.

“Infants should NEVER wear a mask,” says Dr. Michael Cappello, a neonatologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “Infants can actually accidentally suffocate. In fact, masks should be avoided for a child of any age if the mask will represent a choking or strangulation hazard, if the mask causes difficulty breathing, and/or the mask prompts the child to touch his or her face frequently.”

Here are some tips for parents with infants:

  • Keep new babies out of public settings; practice social distancing in all interactions
  • Only introduce a new baby to symptom-free family members wearing a mask and who have washed their hands for 20 seconds
  • Use FaceTime or video calls to interact with family and friends.
  • Disinfect countertops, light switches and door handles often.
  • Make sure siblings wash their hands appropriately and discourage any touching of the baby’s face
  • If you need to go out, place a blanket loosely over your baby’s car seat or stroller –but NEVER over the baby.

Finally, those who have trouble breathing, who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove their mask without assistance should not wear face masks as well.

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