WHO advisory on the use of masks for children amid COVID-19
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidance on the use of masks among children to prevent and control the transmission of certain viral respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Compliance with other measures including physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and adequate ventilation in indoor settings is essential for reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

It admits little is known about how children transmit the virus but cite evidence that teenagers can infect others in the same way as adults.

The advice published on the WHO website covers three age groups:

1. Children aged up to 5 years: Should not wear masks for source control

~ Those with severe cognitive or respiratory impairments having difficulties tolerating a mask should, under no circumstances, be required to wear masks.
~ Other IPC, public health and social measures should be prioritized - maintain a 1-meter physical distance, educate children to perform frequent hand hygiene, etc.

2. Children aged between 6 and 11: Risk-based approach

~ A risk-based approach should be applied to the decision to use a mask.
~ While deciding take into account how widespread the transmission of the virus is, whether the child is interacting with high-risk individuals such as the elderly.
~ Adult supervision to help children use, put on and take off masks safely

3. Children aged 12 and over: Treat like adults

~ Should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee a distance of at least one metre from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.

Source: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-2019-nCoV-IPC_Masks-Children-2020.1
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