How early should children start wearing masks?

How early should children start wearing masks?
Experts have some advice about how to help your child deal with wearing a mask (Source: WXIX)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Many parents are still up in the air about what age their child should start wearing a mask.

Dr. Joseph Perno, the VP of Medical Affairs and the Chief Medical Officer at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, says the age for children to begin wearing a mask all depends on the child.

“The official recommendation is that we want you to try but it really depends on the child. Can they tolerate it with a mask actually make things worse, does it make the child touch their face more than with a mask than without a mask,” says Dr. Perno.

Narissa Smith is a mother of three and says her youngest child who is 10 years old, wears a mask but can only do it for a couple of hours.

“When we’re out, they mask up. But I can’t imagine them wearing it for eight hours a day. They can barely even make it through Costco, " she says.

Knowing her kids can only wear a mask for so long, she has decided not to allow them to go back to any of their Manatee County public schools.

“I just think the expectation for kids for the entire day, yeah I don’t think it’s reasonable at all. The only time they can take it off supposedly is one recess if they’re outside,” says Smith.

According to Dr. Perno, if you’re thinking of sending your child back to school, you want them to get used to wearing a mask before school starts.

“You want them to wear the mask now for an hour here and there. Get them used to the idea. Wear it around the house for a little while. So they get used to it. Try to make the mask fun to make the mask. Something the child wants to wear whether their favorite superhero or Spiderman.”

Dr. Perno also says it’s important to make sure your child practices good hygiene like washing their hands and not touching their face.

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