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Children & face masks: How young is too young?


(NBC NEWS) — As more and more Americans don face masks in public, parents are facing a dilemma: How young is too young to mask up children?

The Centers for Disease Control says cloth masks don’t belong on children under two.

“We worry about suffocation,” says Dr. Jamie Macklin of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“If the mask is on too tightly there is definitely that risk, and so parents might think ‘let’s have them wear that mask more loosely’ and that defeats the purpose of wearing the masks in the first place,” she adds.

Instead, Dr. Macklin advises parents keep babies six feet from others in public, and consider draping a blanket over an infant seat or carrier.

“That way the baby can still breathe comfortably, but there’s a little bit of a barrier there,” she explains.

Dr. Macklin says the same rules apply to anyone who may be incapacitated. If they’re not able to remove a mask themselves should they start having trouble breathing, they shouldn’t be wearing one.

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