Do not buy masks for toddlers and babies due to 'choking and suffocation' risk, PHE says

24 July 2020, 09:25

Children under 11 are exempt from the rules brought in on Friday
Children under 11 are exempt from the rules brought in on Friday. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Parents have been warned not to buy face-coverings for babies and young children due to the risk of choking and suffocation.

Public Health England (PHE) issued the warning after the body became away that masks and face coverings were being sold in shops and online targeted at younger children.

The news comes on the day face coverings became mandatory in shops and supermarkets while they have been required on public transport for several weeks.

Read more: Face-coverings: What are the new rules about masks in shops? Everything you need to know

Read more: Supermarkets and shops refuse to enforce new face-coverings rule

It made the move after becoming aware that masks and coverings are being sold in shops and online aimed at youngsters.

Professor Viv Bennett, the chief nurse at the agency, said: "PHE has been made aware that face coverings for babies and very young children are available for sale in England.

"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 and suffocation.

"If you or your child is unwell with the symptoms of Covid-19, then 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."

Read more: Face-coverings exemption: Who doesn't have to wear a mask in shops?

Read more: Ministers accused of 'making it up as they go along' amid facemask confusion

Children under the age of 11 are exempt from the new rules.

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