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Children and Cloth Face Coverings (Masks) - COVID-19 Checklist

COVID-19 Checklist for Children and Cloth Face Coverings (Masks)

Protecting Against COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that Americans wear cloth face coverings (masks) in public to slow the spread of COVID-19. This recommendation is being made based on studies that show a significant proportion of people with COVID-19 lack symptoms and can transmit the virus to others in close proximity, through speaking, coughing, sneezing, or other means.

The Ohio Department of Health offers the below guidance on children and cloth face coverings (masks).

  • Do not place face coverings on children under age 2.
  1. Children should not wear a mask if the only face covering available is a possible choking for strangulation hazard.
  2. If children have difficulty breathing with the face covering on or they are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance, they should not wear it.
  • Use coverings that fit snugly, but comfortably allow for breathing without restriction.
  1. For a mask to be safest and most protective for children, it should securely cover the nose and mouth and stretch from before the ear to the other side.
  2. Pleated masks with elastic are likely to work best for children, but the right size is important.
  • Remind children not touch the mask while wearing it. If they do, they should wash their hands immediately.
  1. Children should wash hands before and after removing a mask.
  • If children are scared or worried about wearing a mask, there are some things that you can do.
  1. Parents should wear masks too so children don’t feel alone.
  2. While wearing masks, look in the mirror and talk about it.
  3. Put a mask on a favorite stuffed animal.
  4. Decorate a mask so it’s more personalized and fun.
  5. Show children pictures of other children wearing masks.
  6. Draw a mask on their favorite book character.
  7. Children can practice wearing a mask at home first.
  8. Parents can explain that sometimes people wear masks when they are sick, and when they are all better, they stop wearing masks.
  9. Reassure children by emphasizing that you are taking steps to stay safe.
  10. Parents can explain that germs are special to our own bodies and we need to make sure they stay within our own bodies. The face coverings help keep our own germs to ourselves. Some germs are good or bad, and we can’t always tell which are good or bad which is why we need to wear a mask. Some germs make you sick. We need to make sure to keep those germs away from our own bodies.
  • Children would benefit from wearing a mask at places they are likely to encounter other people at a closer than 6-foot range, or places where they cannot touch surfaces that infected people might have touched. Examples include a doctor or dentist office or grocery store or pharmacy.
  • Some children may have a hard time tolerating a face covering. These include children with severe cognitive or respiratory impairments. Special precautions may be needed for these children such as monitoring with a pulse oximeter if available and/or maintaining greater physical distance from others outside their home.
  1. Children who are considered high-risk or severely immunocompromised are encouraged to wear an N95 mask to best protect themselves.
  2. Families of children at higher risk are encouraged to use a standard surgical mask if they are sick to prevent the spread of illness to others

Updated July 21, 2020

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call the COVID-19 CareLine at 1-800-720-9616.

Prevention Infographic

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.

  • Stay home except for work or other needs
  • Wear a face covering when going out
  • Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Shop at non-peak hours.
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect "high-touch" surfaces often
  • Don’t work when sick
  • Call before visiting your doctor

If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)


High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

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