Suffocation warning after face masks for babies and young children are on sale

Public Health England is warning parents not to put face masks on babies or very young children.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 3:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 3:03 pm

The warning comes following information that face coverings for babies and young children are for sale in England, posing a choking or suffocation hazard.

From Friday, July 24, face masks will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England.

The change in rules comes after face coverings were already made compulsory on public transport in England on 15 June, and marks a stricter approach from the UK government in tackling the spread of the virus.

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Public Health England North East shared a message to parents on its Twitter account, explaining that such rules do not apply to babies and very young children due to safety issues.

A spokesman for Public Health England said: “We've been made aware that face coverings for babies and very young children are available for sale in England.

“Children under the age of three should not wear face coverings, as they could cause choking or suffocation.”

Face masks must not be worn by babies or very young children Public Health England has warned. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

Professor Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse, Public Health England, said: "Guidance is clear that children under the age of three years should not wear face coverings or masks, these masks should not be used as they are potentially dangerous and can cause choking or suffocation.

"If you or your child is unwell with symptoms of Covid-19, the you should get a test and stay at home until you get the result.

"If you are worried then you should call 111 or speak to your doctor.”

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