MIDWIVES are warning mums not to put face coverings on children after spotting worrying ‘baby facemasks’ attached to dummies.
Wearing a face covering is mandatory on public transport, and will be in shops from July 24, to stop the spread of coronavirus, but children under 11 are exempt.
Government guidelines state that those who don’t comply face a fine, but those with a “legitimate reason” don’t need to wear one, and that includes children.
Despite that, experts have spotted babies wearing facemasks, with cloth coverings attached to dummies.
The Pendle Family Zone facebook group, which represents ‘Children and Family Wellbeing Services’ in Lancashire, shared a snap of the worrying trend.
They said: “One of ELHT’s [East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust] amazing Community Midwives has brought this to our attention, after seeing this promoted as a cute idea for babies.
“Please, please, please do not do this!
“Babies are too little to wear a mask, and this design looks like it would increase the risk of suffocation.”
They quoted The Lullaby Trust, which raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which said: “We are not aware of any advice for babies to wear masks, whether they are infected or not.
“There is a potential risk of suffocation and other hazards with doing this.”
They also pointed to Government guidelines which state young children do not need to wear masks.
Parents have reacted with horror to the babymasks online, with mums slamming the idea of children wearing one as ‘ridiculous’.
One parent said: “Never ever put a mask on a child!”
People exempt from wearing a mask
- Young children under the age of 11
- Not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- If you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
- To avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
- To avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
- To eat or drink, but only if you need to
- To take medication
- If a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:
- If asked to do so by shop staff for the purpose of age identification
- If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication
Another wrote: “Beyond words, use your common sense.”
While a third commented: “I cannot believe what I am seeing, how ridiculous and dangerous.”
And this mum raged: “Disgusting idea. They should be ashamed.”
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