Suffocation risk for young children wearing face masks

CHILDREN under the age of two years should not wear face masks as it may cause suffocation.

National Early Childhood Intervention Council adviser and senior consultant paediatrician Datuk Dr Amar Singh said the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that face masks should not be used by such young children, reports The Star.

He said any child who was unable to relate their discomfort should not wear a face mask.

“Using a mask on a young child may increase the risk of suffocation. Children aged two to four are not likely to keep the mask on and will likely try to remove it, as well as touch their face more, so it is not helpful, ” he said.

Dr Amar noted that there was at present no clear-cut solution to protect young chlidren from Covid-19 transmission.

He said the key was for adults and older children who are near the young ones to “act by wearing face masks”.

Dr Amar explained that being unable to wear a face mask correctly was more harmful than not wearing one.

Universiti Putra Malaysia medical epidemiologist and biostatistician Assoc Prof Dr Malina Osman also agreed that children under the age of two should not wear masks while suggesting that older kids wear a fabric face mask or three-ply mask — if it can be well fitted.