Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Social media was abuzz recently over photos of babies during the global pandemic. Offering a welcome respite from grim news, the cute images may have charmed audiences into missing hidden dangers.
A hospital in Bangkok had released photos of newborns in a neonatal unit, sporting miniature face shields with baby blue and pink headgear. Around the world, many delighted in sharing the images on social media, believing that the babies were being protected from coronavirus infection.
Simply put, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the use of face coverings for children under the age of 2. Although the CDC does support the practice for children in public settings, the advisory is only applicable to those who are 2 years or older.
The American Academy of Pediatrics provides detailed instructions about masks and children during COVID-19, warning that placing masks on babies and young toddlers puts them at risk of suffocation.
“Children that are that young have very small airways and they lack the strength and wherewithal to reposition themselves if there was an obstruction from the mask,” Dr. Mike Cappello, a neonatologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, told WGN-TV (Chicago).
To safeguard against breathing risks, any coverings near baby’s head should be loosely draped, including those used during breastfeeding such as blankets, wraps, and slings. It’s also wise for adults to know how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, for babies.
Healthy Horizons offers instructions on infant CPR, which are available as virtual classes that are taught according to American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) standards. Sign up today to learn this lifesaving technique.