Why does the WHO not recommend the use of masks in children under 5 years of age?

World Health Organization (WHO) issued this Wednesday new recommendations on the use of masks protective during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new recommendation guide emphasizes that WHO does not recommend the use of masks in children under five years, something that in principle had been said should be mandatory use from two years.

According to the organization, the smallest are less susceptible to Covid-19 and are less likely to become transmitters.

Meanwhile in those aged six to eleven must be decided taking into account different factors (transmission of the virus in the community, children’s ability to wear the mask, social and cultural environment, etc).

In children over 12 years of age, the same recommendations will apply as in adults, the WHO concludes.

Also, the organization advises against the use of those with valves, both among health personnel and the general population.

It is also emphasized that the user of this type of mask could exhale air that is not sufficiently filtered.

The WHO continues to recommend to all healthcare personnel the use of medical masks (the usual ones in operating rooms, for example) in areas with lower risk of airborne contagion (by aerosols) and those with greater protection (N95, FFP2, FFP3) in areas of higher risk, for example areas of care for patients with Covid-19 .

For the general public, in areas of community transmission of the coronavirus, WHO recommends the use of non-medical masks (for example, cloth ones) in indoor areas such as shops, offices or schools, if a physical distance of at least one meter between those present cannot be guaranteed.

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Medical masks They are mainly recommended for risk groups such as the elderly and people with diseases chronic lung disease, cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular problems, in contexts where physical distance of at least one meter cannot be guaranteed.

The use of medical masks at all times is also recommended for caregivers and others who share space with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 patients.

Regarding fabric masks, the organization recommends that they be made with three layers: a waterproof exterior, an interior that allows moisture to pass through, and a filtering intermediate.

In these masks, the OMS, valves are not recommended, since they cancel the filtration and therefore “are useless for control.”


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