The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 2 years old and older wear a cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are out in the community. UofL Hospital’s Center for Women & Infants reminds parents that cloth face coverings should NOT be put on babies or children younger than 2-years-old because of the danger of suffocation.
While wearing cloth face coverings is a precaution most people should take the reduce spread of COVID-19, anyone who is unable to remove the face covering without assistance should not wear a mask.
An infant mask could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental suffocation and strangulation. Young infants, including newborns, move frequently, which could increase the possibility of their nose and mouth becoming blocked by the mask. This movement could also cause the mask to move down to the neck, resulting in strangulation from the strap.
Additionally, the Center for Women & Infants reminds parents to practice safe sleep to decrease the risk of SIDS. Parents of young children may currently be experiencing increased stress and fatigue that could impact their baby’s sleep practices. Safe sleep is an important part of keeping infants healthy, including during COVID-19.