Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Most of us in the UK may have been frantically looking for facemasks for the whole family, since face coverings are compulsory in shops and on public transport from Friday 24th July, to help stop the spread of coronavirus. While these new regulations are fairly straightforward for grown-ups, there has been some uncertainty on whether children need to wear masks as well.
Don’t despair! For those parents who are a little concerned about getting a mask on the little ones, if your child is under the age of 11 then they are not required to wear a face covering. If you or your child has a mental or physical illness or has a disability, then those of you are also exempt and will not be breaking the law.
What is a face covering?
According to the Government's website, a face covering is 'something that safely covers the nose and mouth'. Single-use or reusable face coverings are fine and 'you may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit around the side of the face'.
What can face coverings be made from?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), they advise a three-layer face-covering should be worn. The outer layer should be water-resistant, the inner should be water absorbent, and the mid-layer acts as a filter.
Face masks should also be changed frequently, so if you're travelling or out of the house for extended periods of time, you should take more than one mask with you. Once on, wearers should also not keep touching it to prolong its effectiveness, hence why it’s probably not ideal for the little ones to be wearing.
Having said that, kids often want to copy what their parents are doing. When I ordered my mask a couple of months ago, both my sons wanted one too, just so they can feel like they are part of the conversation. What’s more, these face masks seem to have taken on a life of their own and some people are using them as a fashion accessory, you can now get your mask in your favourite designer prints - it’s a whole new world! There are also some really cool kids' face masks available for the kids. Here are a few fun examples you can check out -
Prefer to make your own face covering? CLICK HERE