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The correct use of masks for children

Uso correcto de mascarillas en niños


How to wear the mask? How should children wear them? What types of masks are on the market for children? After finding out if children should wear masks in the car, here we explain when and how to wear them.

In Spain, Order SND/422/2020, of May 19th regulating the conditions for the obligatory use of masks during the health crisis situation caused by the COVID-19, indicates that people over 6 years of age are obliged to use masks in the street, in outdoor spaces and in any indoor space used by the public or open to the public, whenever it is not possible to maintain the safety distance of at least two meters between people. It refers to any type of mask, preferably hygienic and surgical, that covers the nose and mouth.

Who are not obliged? Children under 3 years old. People for whom the use of a mask is inadvisable for duly justified health reasons, or the disabled or dependent people with behavior alterations that make their use unviable, are not obliged to wear a mask. Nor should they be worn while carrying out activities in which the use of a mask is incompatible, nor be worn in the event of force majeure or when necessary.

Healthy children should wear a mask from the age of three onwards, and the masks should be hygienic and appropriate for each age range. In fact, there are three sizes, between 3 and 12 years old, and they are different from those used by adults. If, on the other hand, the child has symptoms or is asymptomatic, they should preferably use surgical or hygienic masks with the UNE specification. 


The mask must be put on a young child by an adult. Follow these steps for total safety:

  1. Wash your hands for 40-60 seconds before handling the mask.
  2. Only touch the straps of the mask.
  3. Place it over the child's nose and mouth. Make sure there are no large gaps between the face and the mask.
  4. Place the elastic bands behind the child's ears.
  5. Press the nose piece so it fits the nose properly.
  6. Avoid touching the outside of the mask and tell the child not to do so. If the child touches the mask, he/she must wash his/her hands before and after.
  7. Before taking off the mask, wash your hands thoroughly.
  8. Take off the mask by only touching the elastic bands.
  9. Finally, to dispose of it, it should be put in a plastic bag and put it in a closed trash bin. Now you have to wash your hands again.
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