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Pediatrician outlines best practices for child face coverings

Pediatrician outlines best practices for child face coverings
Posted at 12:25 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 17:19:58-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend face coverings to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Chesapeake pediatrician Dr. Glenda Karp said that includes children over the age of two.

“A face covering will decease the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus,” said Dr. Karp of Tidewater Children’s Associates. “As we cough or sneeze or laugh, we spread droplets, and the face covering will decrease that risk of transmission.”

Dr. Karp said it’s very important that the face covering is the right size.

“The face coverings should definitely cover the nose and the chin,” she explained. “The mask [should] fit flush to the cheeks so there’s no gaps.”

Dr. Karp also said it’s important to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before securing the mask.

She added, “When the face covering is removed, it’s very important that we don’t remove it from the outside, because that’s where the germs will be. We want to remove it from the ear fibers or ties.”

She further explained that it’s critical to wash the face coverings if they’re reusable.

“Be careful not to touch your face while you have these masks on,” she stressed.

In her professional opinion, she recommends ordering child coverings online, or making them at home using t-shirts or socks.

“It’s nice if you’re making them to see if you can make a pleated face mask so it can be stretched to cover all those areas."

According to Dr. Karp, there are some reasons why children over the age of two should not be wearing masks, including:

  • If a child is having trouble breathing
  • If a child is unconscious
  • If the child tends to touch their face more because they have a face covering
  • If the child tends to touch their face more because they have a face covering

Dr. Karp wants parents to know that some children are afraid of face coverings, but parents can help ease those fears.

“We should be wearing our face covering when they wear their face coverings," she explained.

She also suggested making face coverings for their stuffed animals or dolls to help ease fears.

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