Parents and guardians of babies under three years old are advised not to cover their mouths with facemasks as it could cause breathing difficulties.
While there have been no reports of ‘baby masks’ being sold in Devon, Torbay or Somerset, parents and guardians are urged not to buy them as they could harm their baby’s health.
The advice comes from Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service. It follows reports that face masks for babies, also known as ‘baby masks’ or ‘cute masks’, are being sold in some parts of the country and online.
Currently Government guidance recommends that children under 11 do not need to wear face masks.
The Lullaby Trust, a charity which raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies, recommends that facemasks should not be used on children under three and has urged parents to avoid using face masks on babies as it could be dangerous.
The Lullaby Trust’s Chief Executive Jenny Ward said: “We are not aware of any advice for babies to wear masks, whether they are infected or not. However, there is a potential risk of suffocation and other hazards with doing this.”
Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health for Devon said:
“I would strongly advise parent/carers against using any sort of covering over a baby’s mouth. This is not based on any scientific advice, and could be dangerous in the event of a baby vomiting or posseting.”