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Should Children Wear Face Masks to Prevent COVID-19?

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While social distancing and staying home are the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are times when you or members of your family will have to get out for essential things like groceries or medications. As an added precaution, the CDC recommends wearing a facemask to further prevent the spread of the virus. As you have probably noticed many adults are already buying or making their own facemasks to wear, but should your children also wear one?

The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 2 wear a facemask if you anticipate coming in contact with others. Those under the age of 2, people who have difficulty breathing, anyone who would have trouble taking the mask off by themselves, or anyone who is unconscious or incapacitated should not wear a facemask to avoid suffocation.

Facemasks can be bought from a variety of sources online or from local vendors, but making one from supplies at home will also suffice. A bandana, T-shirt or leftover cotton material are the best options for a DIY mask. Click here for a tutorial for how to create a facemask at home. Be sure to routinely wash your mask to ensure proper sanitation.

When buying or making your face mask, make sure that it:

  • fits snugly against the sides of your face.
    • It is recommended to remove as much facial hair as possible for a better fit. Wires (or pipe cleaners) can be added to your mask for extra support.
  • is secured with ties or ear loops.
    • You can use strands of elastic or hair ties for your DIY mask.
  • includes multiple layers of fabric.
  • allows for breathing without restriction.
  • is able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

If you think you or your child are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, Ochsner offers urgent care virtual visits through Ochsner Connected Anywhere, the MyOchsner patient portal which allows you to connect with your Primary Care physician or pediatrician and immediate assistance and guidance through the Ochsner COVID-19 Info Line, our free nurse care line (1-844-888-2772). For general information, dial the Louisiana hotline, 211, or text the keyword LACOVID to 898-211.

The information in this blog post is accurate at the time of publication. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change, it's possible that information has changed since being published. While Ochsner Health is trying to keep our blog posts as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using the CDC website.

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