Most children carry the coronavirus in a mild form, but are just as likely to spread the virus as adults. If a child has a chronic illness (heart defect, diabetes, etc.), he or she is at high risk and must be protected as much as possible from the possibility of illness.
The most popular PPE in a pandemic is a protective mask. But can it be worn by children? The WHO and the UNICEF Children's Fund give a general recommendation to this question: it is advisable for children to wear a mask in crowded spaces:
- in the mall;
- in public transport; market
- In a shopping mall, on public transportation, in a hospital, etc.
There is no need to wear a mask during an active walk outdoors, at children's playground or sports ground, as it will be useless.
If you decide to protect your child (and others from possible infection), the first thing to think about is what a mask should be in terms of safety, convenience and comfort.
- it is good if the mask is specifically designed for children, has a colourful pattern like this mask. It is difficult to persuade the little one to put on the means of protection, and the fun print will help to do without tears.
- The size should fit the child well. A mask that is too big will have little effect, because it will not be able to ensure a complete fit to the face.
- Elastic loops that do not put pressure on the ears.
- A semi-rigid nosepiece for an optimal fit to the face.
- Made of non-woven material that will not irritate delicate skin and interfere with breathing.
- Must have the necessary quality certificates.
For better protection and longer replacement time, try a children's respirator. An FFP2 respirator fits more tightly over the face and is capable of trapping up to 95% of viruses, bacteria, and aerosols. Don’t forget, that respirator can be worn up to 8 hours.