Should kids wear face masks? We asked a pediatrician – Los Angeles Times,


As parents, we tend to want to make things better for our kids. But the seriousness of the novel coronavirus has forced us to talk to our children seriously about their safety and the safety of others.

Now that the CDC is recommending people wear cloth face coverings when venturing out in public, many parents are wondering if their children should wear masks when they go outside.

If they are over the age of 2, the answer is yes.

But that can be really hard for parents when kids don’t understand why masks are important, and why they can’t just go play outdoors and see their friends and grandparents .

Dr. Rachel J. Thornton, a practicing pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said in an interview conducted via email that it’s important for parents to be open and honest with their children when talking about face masks. And don’t presume they won’t want to wear one.

“Try to engage in open, honest, developmentally appropriate communication with your child about masks,” Thornton said. “Keep the conversation and concepts simple, at a level they can understand. Find a time to start the conversation with them about wearing a mask in advance of when you need them to wear it. This approach can help insure that the child has time to ask questions and rehearse the behavior if needed. ”

Here, Thornton offers more tips and resources on how to talk to children about masks without frightening them.

The CDC does not recommend masks for children under age 2. What about kids under ?

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