Explainer: WHO releases COVID-19 guide on face mask use for children

Explainer: WHO releases COVID-19 guide on face mask use for children

- Wearing face masks on a regular basis is a concept that is new to the vast majority of countries facing Covid-19

- The World Health Organisation has released its guidelines on whether or not children should wear masks during the pandemic

- This issue had created some uncertainty especially when it comes to younger age groups

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The World Health Organisation has provided understandably confused parents with some advice on face masks when it comes to children.

The WHO broke down the guide into various age groups saying that, while children over the age of 12 should wear masks, the situation becomes less certain for younger kids.

After a multidisciplinary group evaluated Covid-19 transmission in children the WHO came to the conclusion that children younger than 6 shouldn't be required to wear masks.

A number of reasons were noted for this decision including the 'psychosocial needs' of the child and the level of difficulty in using them.

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The WHO has detailed guidelines for mask usage in children. Image: Department of Education/ Twitter
Source: UGC

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The WHO noted that for children aged 6-11 mask use should be dependent on the following factors:

  • Local infection rates
  • Their ability to use masks safely
  • Access to masks
  • Amount of adult supervision
  • Impact of mask usage on psychological development
  • Exposure to the elderly and folks with underlying health conditions

Children aged 12 and older should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults including visits to shops and when using public transport.

However, it was highlighted by the Centre for Disease control that masks need to be regularly washed and used in conjunction with other measures such as social distancing.

In addition to this, the CDC warned that there is a risk of infecting yourself in instances where the mask and face are constantly touched while in use.

Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh reported that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize is optimistic that South Africa's surge of Covid-19 infections has passed.

The Western Cape province is predicted to have hit peak infections two months ago and the KwaZulu-Natal region is also showing signs of progress.

Despite this glimmer of hope, Mkhize warned that citizens should proceed with caution to avoid risking a second wave of infections.

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Source: Yen

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