Phase Two and Kids Face Masks

Phase Two and Kids Face Masks what we need to know

In Italy we are currently projected towards phase two of the Coronavirus emergency, which will consist of the gradual loosening of the quarantine measures starting from May 4th. While we are waiting to see how it will work, one thing we know for sure already: it will be mandatory for everyone, kids of age above 6 included, to wear face masks on public transport and in closed places accessible to the public (all the details with exceptions are on the decree signed by the Prime Minister on April 26 2020).
As far as kids face masks are concerned, there are various questions that as parents we might have. Since we do not have a professional background on the topic, we have summarized here the guidelines recently provided by the Associazione Culturale Pediatri (Pediatric Cultural Association in English)

Pink sweatshirt by Little Marc Jacobs from Kids Around

When should kids be wearing face masks?

According to April 26 2020 decree, kids face masks will be mandatory on public transports and in closed places accessible to the public and in general in places where kids may have difficulty respecting a safe distance, such as in a pharmacy, shops or at the doctor’s.
“At home, if there are no sick people, masks are not necessary, and so if a child is outdoors to play and manages to keep a distance of at least 2 meters from the others.” we read on the Pediatric Cultural Association article. “In addition, masks should not be worn when eating or drinking.”

Pink sweatshirt by Little Marc Jacobs from Kids Around

What kind of masks should kids wear?

Kids face masks should meet the same criteria as those for adults, so standard surgical masks or cloth masks (even hand-made) are enough, only that they should be smaller in size. In fact, the essential requirement for the effectiveness of the protection is the full adherence to the kid’s face. The Pediatric Cultural Association offers users some advice:”To be protective and safe, the mask must cover the nose and mouth well and connect to the ear.”
For adults the dimensions of a mask are approximately 15cmx 30 cm; for a child 12×25 cm on average, considering the age and the fact that the mask must adhere well to the child’s face and safely cover the mouth and nose. In our case for example Anna’s mask has a different size than Alice’s or Aurora’s.

Pink sweatshirt by Little Marc Jacobs from Kids Around

How should kids put on and off a mask?

The Italian Ministry of Health recommends the following steps to put on and take off a mask
• Before putting on the mask, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Cover your mouth and nose with the mask ensuring that it is intact and it fits snugly to your face.
• Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, wash your hands.
• When the mask becomes damp, replace it with a new one and do not reuse it, since disposable masks should be used once only.
• Remove the mask by handling the elastic band only, without touching the front of the mask; discard immediately in a closed bin and wash your hands.

Phase Two and Kids Face Masks

Phase Two and Kids Face Masks: how to get kids to wear a face mask?

Kids might be afraid to wear a mask or (like Alice) they might get very annoyed in having their mouth and nose covered. So, what should we do?
Experts suggest acclimating children to masks at home and drawing a connection to superheroes by explaining that masks are part of their uniforms.
To older children you can highlight their similarity with “more ordinary” accessories such as scarfs or balaclavas that are used for other specific needs.
In our case with Aurora (who is 2 and a half) it helped a lot to have a “doll-size” toy mask to let her play putting it on her dolls and stuffed animals. She got progressively familiar with the idea that everyone should wear a mask for protection and care. Like most of the kids, she does not want to feel like she is different.
Finally, decoration or kid-friendly designs and prints will surely help, but… we will come back to this point talking about kids face masks very soon!
For the time being, we wish you a great Saturday night at home!

Phase Two and Kids Face Masks

Note on clothes: Anna, Alice and Aurora are wearing a pink sweatshirt by Little Marc Jacobs from Kids Around (you can find it here) and hand-made kids face masks.
For more articles about Coronavirus see here.

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All photos by Fannice Kids Fashion – permission must be asked before reproduction 2013-2020

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