ADDIS ABABA – Wearing masks has become increasingly common during the coronavirus pandemic, but they should not be used by children under the age of two, according to the Japan Pediatric Association.
Japan’s coronavirus guidelines encourage people to wear masks but the medical body warned parents not to put them on infants because it makes it difficult to notice changes in face color, expression and breathing, it said in a leaflet.
“It is possible that masks make it difficult for infants to breathe and increase the risks of heatstroke,” reads the leaflet. The leaflet says masks are not necessary for children under two.
Infants have narrower airways and masks can make it more difficult to breathe, increasing the burden on their lungs, it continues.
There is also an increased risk of suffocation, particularly if small children vomit behind a mask.
Infants are relatively low risk for coronavirus infections and the association concludes that masks are not necessary for infants under two years old.
Image: A statue of a small boy is pictured with a face mask on April 8, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.