For children, wearing a mask is an important way to protect them, their families, and the people around them. Masks can be especially important for children younger than age 12, who are not yet eligible for the COVID vaccines. Many children are asymptomatic, which means that even if they do have the virus they might not know it, but they can still spread the virus to other people. So, by wearing masks in public, children too can protect themselves and help to limit the spread of the virus. Children with underlying health conditions such as cystic fibrosis or cancer should wear a medical or certified mask that provides protection to the person wearing the mask as well as preventing transmission to others.
FINDING THE RIGHT MASK FOR YOUR CHILD
There are many certified masks available; however, many do not offer a specific fit for children in the correct size for proper protection. Cambridge Mask offers certified child safe masks in a wide range of fun colours and patterns. XS size is perfect for toddlers 2+ and size S for children below 16 years old. Refer to our sizing chart here. Equipped with a nose clip and adjustable toggles, Cambridge Mask can be adjusted for a proper snug fit. Please note that we do not provide masks to fit babies who are under 18 months of age due to health and safety risks. We also suggest that if your child is under 5 years of age, you always supervise them while they are wearing a mask, to check that they are wearing it correctly and safely.
GOING BACK TO SCHOOL
Knowing the ins and outs of masking for kids is especially important as the school year starts again and they venture back into the classroom with their peers. The latest must have item on the back-to-school list this year is a child friendly mask.
Now that schools are going back in session, it is important to guarantee your child's safety as well as your families. The most important measure is to make sure your children are wearing a protective mask such as a Cambridge Mask to stop those sticky grubby fingers, or snotty noses from making their way back home!
To guarantee your child's safety, implement the following ideas into your daily routine as much as possible:
- Encourage your child to wash his or her hands before handling a mask
- The mask should cover the mouth and nose
- Check that there are no gaps at the sides of the mask.
- Make sure that the mask does not obscure their vision
- Remember to wash the mask if it becomes dirty or wet. Use warm water and washing soda.
- Teach your child how to properly put on and take off their mask (they should not touch anything other than the side straps), you may find more info on how to don and doff your mask here.
- Explain to your child the importance of not sharing their mask with anyone else
How to encourage your child to wear a mask?
1. Use a fun, child-friendly approach!
Explain that masks help protect them and others from nasty, dirty germs, describe the and the places or situations where it will be important to wear a mask. You can minimise the stress and anxiety that your children may be feeling by simply explaining to them how masks work. Help them to understand that, by wearing masks, they are keeping vulnerable people safe, and helping the government and all those hard-working scientists. You can even try them on in the mirror together and have a conversation to showcase the normality of wearing one in an everyday environment.
2. Follow the leader!
Children will follow your lead, model the art and ease of wearing one and they will feel more comfortable at seeing this as the ‘norm’. Lend a mask to their favourite toy or stuffed animal or to help enforce the message that everyone they feel close to is wearing one to stay safe. Finally, pointing out other children wearing masks will help normalize the idea of masking.
3. The colour choice is theirs!
Giving your child different colour or patterned options helps foster a sense of control. Studies show that this will encourage cooperation & ownership of the idea. Why not get matching masks for the whole family? This will showcase a sense of team & solidarity.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is it safe for my child to wear mask? Yes, absolutely.
Some parents may have concerns about face masks for their children especially those below the age of 12. Here are some common questions about kids and masks to put your mind at ease.
Can wearing a mask make it harder for my child to breathe?
There have been concerns that face masks can reduce oxygen intake, and can lead to low blood oxygen levels, known as hypoxemia. However, our Cambridge Masks are made from breathable materials that will not block the oxygen your child needs. Masks will not affect your child's ability to focus or learn in school. The vast majority of children age 2 or older can safely wear face masks for extended periods of time, such as the school day or at child care. This includes children with many medical conditions.
Can masks interfere with a child's lung development?
No, wearing a face mask will not affect your child's lungs from developing normally. This is because oxygen flows through the mask while blocking the spray of spit and respiratory droplets that may contain the virus. Keeping your child's lungs healthy is important, which includes preventing infections like COVID-19.