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PHE statement: face coverings for babies and very young children

23rd July 2020

Public Health England statement on PHE warning: face coverings for babies and very young children

Professor Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse at Public Health England (PHE) said:

“PHE has been made aware that face coverings for babies and very young children are available for sale in England. Guidance is clear that children under the age of three years should not wear face coverings or masks, these masks should not be used as they are potentially dangerous and can cause choking and suffocation.

If you or your child is unwell with the symptoms of COVID-19, then you should get a test and stay at home until you get the result. If you are worried then you should call 111 or speak to your doctor.”

Background:

  • Children aged under three years of age should not wear face coverings or masks
  • Wearing face coverings/masks is not compulsory in any public setting for children aged 3-11
  • We advise adults and children over the age of 11 years to wear face masks in enclosed public spaces where it is difficult to socially distance. This may help prevent transmission of virus to someone else if you are infected but do not yet have symptoms
  • Any adult or child with symptoms should self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance and get tested.