At what age do you put them? What to do if they refuse to keep them or are afraid? Here are the recommendations and tips of pediatricians
Masks are a useful tool to protect yourself from the Covid-19 coronavirus infection. The latest Prime Ministerial Decree of April 26 provides for the mandatory use of masks for everyone, including for children aged 6 and up. But is it still good for those who are younger to wear them or not? These questions were answered by the Italian Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics (SIPPS) which embraced some recommendations on the use of masks in pediatric age drawn up by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). "Children under two years of age must not wear masks not only because of the objective difficulty, but also because of the risk of suffocation, which should not be underestimated", explains pediatrician Margherita Caroli, expert in nutrition from SIPPS. To protect children at this age, the expert suggests, "caps or headbands with a long transparent visor could be used, which also shields the eyes, nose and mouth, the ways of entry of the virus. Even children with neurological or respiratory diseases and those who have difficulty removing it on their own should avoid it. Finally, children who touch their face much more frequently should not wear the mask because the protection induced by the mask would be invalidated by the most frequent hand-face contact. These children must therefore adopt a distance of more than one meter in any situation ", explains the expert.
When the template is needed
"Children from 2 years of age should wear a mask in any situation in which they are less than a meter away from other people not belonging to their family," says Michele Fiore, SIPPS family pediatrician. "If the child walks or rides a bicycle or plays outdoors alone or with an adult living together and there is no risk of meeting other people at close range, it is not necessary to wear it. The mask instead becomes necessary if you go to the supermarket or use public transport and in any place where you have to wait together with others and in all closed places where distances cannot be maintained and, therefore, clearly, also in the school environment Says the expert.
How masks should be suitable for children
Adult masks are not suitable for children. «They do not ensure good adhesion. Children from 2 years onwards can use the masks defined as "community", that is cloth and therefore washable and reusable, also provided by the DPCM, or even, when possible, TNT, the same material with which the masks are made surgery , says the pediatrician Michele Fiore. «Masks suitable for children should have a length of about 12 cm and a width of 5 cm to be able to adapt to their face and adequately cover the nose and mouth. After 6 years and up to 12 years, larger masks (15cm by 7.5cm) could be used both from the community and from TNT or surgical type . For children suffering from chronic diseases who need greater protection, experts recommend using FFP2 masks and following the instructions of your reference center.
How they should be worn
"In order for the masks to be truly effective they must be very close to the face," explains Francesco Pastore, a pediatrician of the SIPPS family. "They must therefore follow the line of the nose by adjusting the small metal bar to their face and with the ends that must adhere to the face, pulling the lateral elastic bands placed behind the ears consistently". But if the child refuses to keep it or is afraid to wear it, what to do? In the gallery, the advice and advice of pediatricians who can help in these cases.