Department of Mental Health Masking Recommendations for Child Care: COVID-19

Updated 6/30/21

“Child care settings will continue to have both vaccinated and unvaccinated people as there is not a vaccine approved for children under 12 years of age available yet. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that child care settings continue prevention measures, including use of face coverings and physical distancing, even after staff have been vaccinated.

MDH recommends that child care operators follow CDC: Guidance for Operating Child Care Programs during COVID-19 which states:

  • Everyone 2 years and older should wear a face covering when around people who do not live in their household, except when eating or sleeping.
  • Teach and reinforce the consistent and correct use of face coverings for all staff and children aged 2 years and older.
  • A face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing. Face coverings should still be worn in addition to physical distancing. Wearing a face covering is especially important indoors and when physical distancing is difficult to implement or maintain while providing care to young children.
  • For information about how to select, wear, and clean your face covering, visit CDC: Guidance for Wearing Masks and Frequently Asked Questions About Wearing Face Coverings.
  • After touching or removing your face covering, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • CDC recognizes there are specific instances when wearing a face covering is not feasible. In these instances, consider adaptions and alternatives in situations where wearing a mask may not be possible.”

 

Here are 5 common questions about kids and masks:

  1. Can wearing a mask make it harder for my child to breath?

Cloth masks are made from breathable materials and will not block the oxygen your child needs. The vast majority of kids 2 or older can wear a mask for extended periods of time.

  1. Can masks interfere with my child’s lung development?

No. Oxygen flows through and around the mask

  1. Do masks trap carbon dioxide that we normally breath out?

No. Carbon dioxide molecules are very tiny and they cannot be trapped by breathable materials.However, children with severe breathing problems my have a hard time tolerating a mask.

  1. Can masks lead to a weaker immune system by putting the body under stress?

No. wearing a mask does not weaken the immune system.

  1. How do masks prevent the spread of Covid-19?

Wearing a mask may keep people (kids) from touching their mouths and faces, which is another way Covid-19 can be spread