Should children wear face coverings?

The CDC recommends that you wear a face covering when you go into a public place where you can’t keep at least six feet apart from other people. But what about kids?

Yes, most kids over age two should wear face coverings. But here are some important exceptions. Your child  should not wear a mask if:

  • They are under age two.
  • They can’t stop touching their face covering or their face when wearing one.
  • They are not able to remove their face covering on their own. (Kids need to be able to remove it themselves in case they’re having trouble breathing.)
  • They have trouble breathing while wearing one. Especially if they already have a condition that makes it hard for them to breathe, like asthma or a heart problem. 

Some children feel anxious wearing a mask, but there are things you can do to help with that. For example, make some pretend masks for your child to put on his dolls or stuffed animals. 

School aged children may accept wearing a face covering if they understand why they are wearing it: “We are wearing our masks to make sure that we don’t accidentally spread germs to the people around us!”. 

As always, empower your child by reminding them that we are taking these steps to help keep us all safe.


Last update: May 19, 2020, 10:06 pm ET

Science review: ERS, JAB