The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) recognizes helping young children to be comfortable wearing face masks and to keep face masks on may be challenging. It is important to help children feel more secure wearing a face mask when around other children and adults.

The CDC COVID resource pages are recommended as the primary source of up-to-date and accurate information. As recommendations regarding the mitigation of COVID-19 continue to evolve, child care providers are urged to stay up-to-date on the most recent CDC Guidance for Operating Child Care.

Best Practices and Resources for Child Care Providers: (Updated January 2022)

Key Updates

To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, CDC continues to recommend masking is a critical public health tool for preventing spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask. Learn about the types of masks and respirators.

  • Masks and respirators are effective at reducing transmission of the Coronavirus when worn consistently and correctly.
  • Choose a well-fitting and comfortable mask or respirator that your child can wear properly. A poorly fitting or uncomfortable mask or respirator might be worn incorrectly or removed often, and that would reduce its intended benefits.
    • Choose a size that fits over the child’s nose and under the chin but does not impair vision.
  • If your child has a hard time breathing, gets dizzy, or has other symptoms while you are trying to get the mask to fit better or when using an ASTM F3502 mask or a respirator, choose a regular cloth or disposable mask. They should continue to follow CDC guidance to protect themselves and others. Consult your healthcare provider if these symptoms do not resolve.
  • Parents and caregivers may have questions about NIOSH-approved respirators (such as N95s) for children. Although respirators may be available in smaller sizes, they are typically designed to be used by adults in workplaces, and therefore have not been tested for broad use in children.
  • Clear masks or cloth masks with a clear plastic panel are an alternative type of mask that may be helpful when interacting with certain groups of people

Resources

For more Best Practice guidance from OCDEL, visit the COVID-19 (pakeys.org/covid-19) page.