Children's Hospital Colorado

Masks for Kids: What You Need to Know About Face Coverings


Editor's note: This page was updated on June 15, 2021. Please follow all rules and guidelines set by state and local public health and safety authorities. Reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for current guidance.

Since wearing a face covering while in public helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, masking is important for unvaccinated individuals – including children.

We spoke with three of our experts, pediatric infectious disease doctors Samuel Dominguez, MD, PhD, and Sara Saporta-Keating, MD, pediatric pulmonologist Monica Federico, MD, and child life specialist Jennifer Staab, MS, CCLS, to get the nitty-gritty details on cloth face coverings for kids: when to wash them, which kind to wear, how to set your kid up for success and – in light of new CDC guidelines – when they can skip wearing one.

New mask guidelines: when to cover up

In late May, the CDC relaxed masking guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals in the U.S. While welcome news for the people who have received their full course of one of the authorized vaccines, the guidance has created some confusion. This is especially true for families with kids who aren’t yet old enough to be vaccinated against COVID. We reached out to our experts for advice on how to handle the latest guidelines.

Face coverings 101: the evidence

We get it. Wearing a cloth face covering can feel like a nuisance. But face coverings are still critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping everyone safe. This isn’t opinion – it’s based on the best available science, which researchers around the globe and our experts are evaluating daily. Here are some common questions and misconceptions to clear up.

Face masks for kids: the nuances

As with all things, guidelines for kids and face coverings aren’t one-size-fits-all; there are nuances. So we outlined some specific situations and asked our experts for their guidance based on the best-available evidence thus far.

Everyday tips for getting your kids to wear their masks

Sometimes (well, oftentimes) it takes practice and influence to change your child’s behavior. We rounded up tips for getting your kid used to wearing their face covering.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) for kids

OK, masks are important, but what about other protective gear?

Masks and sports

Asthma and face coverings

It’s understandable for parents of kids with asthma, the most common chronic condition in childhood, to have questions about whether face coverings could worsen asthma symptoms. But if your child with asthma is having a difficult time with their face covering, it’s typically because they’re anxious about it or because they need to check in with their doctor about their asthma. Dr. Federico, the medical director of Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Asthma Program, shares more.

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