Right from the beginning of the Covid health emergency, the spread of the virus among children and teenagers has been analysed and studied by healthcare operators with particular attention.
The studies carried out have provided consolidated and consistent data that has allowed us to identify the aspects to consider and the behaviour to adopt.
As far as concerns infection, for example, the analysis has shown that the risk of infection is reduced by around half in children and teenagers compared with anyone over the age of twenty. The studies have also confirmed that children and teenagers frequently have no symptoms.
The precautions to adopt, even in light of what has emerged, confirm the fundamental importance of hygiene and prevention measures, as well as the importance of wearing a mask, particularly surgical masks.
Surgical masks, which are now available under the Moretti SpA brand in both adult and a specific paediatric format, are, in fact, the most effective medical device in a social context. If a surgical mask is worn correctly by everyone in the same environment, it helps prevent them from infecting each other.
The rules recently published by the Health Minister, Roberto Speranza, require masks to be worn in indoor environments, outdoors from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. or in other situations in which, outdoors and in the daytime, there is a risk of large gatherings of people. These rules also apply to children over the age of six.
Recommendations for schools
Starting from primary school, as specified in the Technical Recommendations published by the Technical Scientific Committee on 31 August this year, a mask must be worn in any situation where social distancing is not possible, but can be removed when the children are not moving around.
The recommendations for schools therefore allow the mask to be removed when children are sitting at their desks, provided social distancing is in place and there are no situations in which aerosol transmission is a risk. The purpose is to assist learning and relational development.
The Italian Paediatrics Association (SIP) also issued a statement on the use of surgical masks last week, with the aim of providing certain and concrete answers to the concerns of parents over the effects on their children’s health of prolonged use of these masks.
The SIP has dispelled five myths on their use, encouraging parents to comply precisely with the rules without any worries.
5 myths on surgical masks for children
Let us take a look at the “fake news” in detail:
Prolonged use of a mask causes alkalosis in children.
The quantity of their own carbon dioxide that a healthy child breathes in when wearing a mask is almost imperceptible.
Prolonged use of a mask causes hypoxia in children.
Healthy children wearing a surgical mask for several hours a day do not risk either a lack of oxygen or death from hypoxia.
A surgical mask can weaken a child’s immune system.
A surgical mask prevents infections from spreading and children should wear one to avoid transmission of the coronavirus among those without symptoms.
A surgical mask causes an alteration in the intestinal flora in children.
There is no scientific evidence in the literature documenting that correct use of a mask could result in alteration of the intestinal flora and/or cause intestinal dysbiosis.
All children have to wear a surgical mask.
There are cases in which a mask is not required: children under the age of six or those suffering from a disability that is not compatible with prolonged use of a mask.
To purchase Moretti SpA brand masks for adults and children, ask at your usual pharmacy, orthopaedics and medical supply store.