PARENTS should not place face coverings on babies and young children, Solihull’s spokeswoman for health has said.
In an effort to reduce the risk of choking or suffocation, Solihull Council is highlighting government guidance which states that face coverings should never be used on a baby or young child under 3 years old and do not need to be worn by children under the age of 11 on transport and in public places.
Councillor Karen Grinsell, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, explains: “While I understand that parents and carers are anxious to protect their babies and toddlers from Covid-19, using a face covering on young children may put them in danger of choking or suffocation.
“Babies and young children have smaller airways so breathing through a face covering is harder for them, hence the risk of suffocation. Infants in a panic could become tangled in their face coverings, risking injury and toddlers are likely to touch their face and remove a face covering. For all those reasons it’s so important that children under three should not have any face coverings whatsoever.
“There are safer and better ways of dealing with the risk of Covid-19 for young children. For example practicing social distancing and good hygiene such as regular hand washing and when coughing or sneezing, using the ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ approach”.
Many organisations such as the NHS and the Lullaby Trust have strongly advised parents and carers to avoid face covering products for children including face coverings with dummies attached and hats with visors on, both of which risk suffocation or choking.
For the latest government advice about face coverings for children and adults visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-outside-your-home/staying-safe-outside-your-home#face-coverings