By: Poelano Malema
To date, South Africa has had 1.8-million coronavirus cases and 58,000 deaths.
One of the ways to protect ourselves from contracting the virus is through the wearing of masks. This is to stop the spread of respiratory droplets when people talk, sneeze or cough.
Masks are supposed to cover the nose and mouth and it is recommended that people cough or sneeze into their mask. However, upon sneezing or coughing into the mask, health experts recommend that you are to put on a new, clean mask as soon as possible and wash your hands.
Children and the wearing of masks
Although the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention states that children who are two years and older should wear masks in public, the World Health Organisation says children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks.
According to the website, this is based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask with minimal assistance.
Let’s look at further guidelines recommended by the World Health Organisation on the wearing of masks by children.
The health site states that children should wear masks under the following conditions:
– Whether there is widespread transmission in the area where the child resides
– The ability of the child to safely and appropriately use a mask
– Access to masks, as well as laundering and replacement of masks in certain settings (such as schools and childcare services)
– Adequate adult supervision and instructions to the child on how to put on, take off and safely wear masks
– Potential impact of wearing a mask on learning and psychosocial development, in consultation with teachers, parents/caregivers and/or medical providers
– Specific settings and interactions the child has with other people who are at high risk of developing serious illness, such as the elderly and those with other underlying health conditions
Image courtesy of Pexels/ @Ketut Subiyanto