Children's Hospital Colorado

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


By now, we’ve all heard it: Wearing a face covering (commonly called a cloth mask) while in public can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But what you may not have heard is that for this simple public health measure to work well, everyone needs to do their best to wear their face coverings properly. That includes kids. Yes, even your squirmy 5-year-old or indifferent 15-year-old.

We spoke with three of our experts, pediatric infectious disease doctor and coronavirus authority Samuel Dominguez, MD, PhD, 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: how to put them on, how to take them off, when to wash them, which kind to wear and how to set your kid up for success at school and other in-person activities.

Face coverings 101: the evidence

We get it. Wearing a cloth face covering is new and different and not so fun. But face coverings are also 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?

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.

Editor's note: This page was updated on Sept. 28, 2020. Due to the shifting nature of the coronavirus pandemic, recommendations can change quickly. 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 immediate updates on COVID-19.

Answers in your inbox

Expert advice delivered directly to you. Get weekly tips