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COVID-19 Mask Guidance for Children

Background

COVID-19 causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. Everyone, including children, must wear a mask when they are out in public to stop the spread of the virus. People who have COVID-19 often do not have symptoms, so wearing a mask can help reduce the possibility that someone with no symptoms could transmit the disease to others.

Children over age 2 must wear a mask when they are in places where they cannot stay 6 feet away from others, such as a doctor's office, grocery store or pharmacy.  

When Should My Child Not Wear a Mask?

The CDC does not recommended children under age 2 to wear a mask.

It is also recommended that your child not wear a mask or other face covering if it is a possible choking or strangulation hazard, or if your child has trouble breathing with the mask. If your child is unconscious, incapacitated or unable to remove the cover without help, they should not wear a mask either.

Additionally, if your child is touching his or her face more frequently while wearing a mask, then they should not wear it because this increases their risk of being exposed to the virus.

What if My Child Is Afraid of Wearing a Mask?

  • If your child is scared of wearing a mask, you should wear a mask too in order to show your child that they are not alone.
  • While wearing masks, look in the mirror and talk about it.
  • Put a mask on a favorite stuffed animal.
  • Decorate a mask so it's more personalized and fun.
  • Show your child pictures of other children wearing masks.
  • Draw a mask on their favorite book character.
  • Have your child practice wearing a mask at home first.

Resources for More Information

For more information on wearing or making a mask, visit: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Stop-the-Spread.aspx

For more information on COVID-19, visit the Department of Health's website, www.health.pa.gov, or the CDC's website.

Help is available, contact the Crisis Text Line by texting PA to 741-741

 

​Date created: 4/17/2020; Date updated: 7/2/2020