Does my child need a face mask? Depends on age, experts say

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Masks have quickly become a staple in the Canadian wardrobe, thanks to the novel coronavirus.

On May 20, chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam officially recommended the use of masks — both medical and non-medical — as a measure to avoid spreading respiratory droplets to others, in addition to physical distancing and handwashing.

Now, parents are wondering: does my child need to wear a face mask in public, too?

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READ MORE: Summer heat, humidity will be a problem when wearing COVID-19 masks outdoors: experts

Children older than two years old should wear a face mask in public spaces where physical distancing is difficult.

Children under two years of age and anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove a mask without assistance should not wear a mask, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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This is mainly to prevent suffocation, said pediatrician Dr. Dina Kulik, but she also thinks it would be difficult to keep a mask on a child younger than two without them touching it and moving it around.


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