The WHO just released specific mask guidance for kids
- The World Health Organisation just released guidance on whether kids should wear masks.
- It's broken down into age groups: kids older than 12 should wear them, kids younger than 6 shouldn't, and for kids in between, it depends on a handful of factors.
- Mask-wearing has been a point of confusion for parents, since children don't tend to get intense coronavirus symptoms, but are nonetheless getting infected in huge numbers.
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The World Health Organisation released long-awaited guidance on whether they should wear masks.
It's been a point of confusion for parents amid the coronavirus pandemic since most kids get mild symptoms. There's also the inflammatory syndrome associated with coronavirus infections.
The WHO brought together a multidisciplinary group to evaluate coronavirus transmission in children, which released three recommendations on August 21 for mask-wearing depending on their precise age group, a document shows.
Notably, the WHO said that children aged five years and under shouldn't be required to wear masks. That's based on the overall interest of the kid, including "psychosocial needs" and the fact that they're not able to use masks without a lot of assistance.
For kids between age six and 11, mask use should depend on this handful of factors, the WHO said:
- Local infection rates
- Their ability to use masks safely
- Access to masks, like if they can be replaced and cleaned
- Adequate adult supervision
- The impact of mask-wearing on psychological development; for this factor, parents should consult with teachers, caregivers, or medical providers
- Their exposure to the elderly and folks with underlying health conditions, who have a high risk of contracting serious coronavirus symptoms
Finally, those who're at least 12 years old should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults. Meaning masks should be worn outside when it's not possible to stay more than 6 feet away from people, and inside shops, public transport, and other crowded venues, the WHO said in June.
Masks are not a silver bullet. People tend to be less careful when they wear masks, the CDC said in June. Masks, however, need to be washed, left alone while in use (you can infect yourself by touching your face), and worn in addition to other safety precautions like maintaining physical distance from others.
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