Updated: Oct 29, 2020
As a company started and operated by professionals with medical research compliance backgrounds, it is our highest priority at Hypothesis Haven Science Club to follow science-based processes to maintain the safety of our team and the students in our care.
With local schools set to open for face-to-face learning, it's even more important that children follow steps to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Below we share some common misconceptions about children and mask wearing.
Common Misconceptions About Kids and Cloth Face Coverings
(Source: American Academy of Pediatrics)
Can wearing a mask make it harder for a child to breathe?
There have been concerns that cloth face coverings can reduce oxygen intake and can lead to low blood oxygen levels. However, cloth masks are made from breathable materials that will not block the oxygen a child needs or affect a child's ability to focus or learn in school. The vast majority of children age 2 or older can safely wear a cloth face covering for extended periods of time, such as the school day or at child care. This includes children with many medical conditions.
Can masks interfere with a child's lung development?
No. Wearing a cloth face covering will not affect a child's lungs from developing normally. This is because oxygen flows through and around the mask, while blocking the spray of spit and respiratory droplets that may contain the virus. Keeping a child's lungs healthy is important, which includes preventing infections like COVID-19.
Do masks trap the carbon dioxide that we normally breathe out?
No. There have been false reports that cloth face coverings can lead to carbon dioxide poisoning from rebreathing the air we normally breathe out. This is not true. Carbon dioxide molecules are very tiny, even smaller than respiratory droplets. They cannot be trapped by breathable materials, such as cloth masks. In fact, surgeons wear tight-fitting masks all day as part of their jobs, without any harm. However, children under 2 years of age should not wear masks since they may not be able to remove them without help. Children with severe breathing problems or cognitive impairments may also have a hard time tolerating a face mask and extra precautions may be needed.
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