Doctors Say N95 Masks Are Not Suitable For Kids And May Actually Worsen Breathing Problems

It is best to keep children indoors.

Cover image via Astro Awani & Twitter @scarfkey

Dr Natalie Epton of SBCC Baby & Child Clinic, Singapore urges parents to not make their children wear the N95 mask

Image via Pembina UPM

Although the N95 masks are recommended for adults dealing with the haze, it is not approved for use among young children.

AsiaOne reported that the specialist paediatrician and neonatologist said that the effectiveness of the mask depends on the right size and fit.

For many young children, it is deemed unsuitable.

The N95 masks may worsen breathing problems in children as it forces the lungs to work harder to breathe

Image via Astro Awani

In a report by HoneyKids Asia, Dr Epton said it can cause children to hyperventilate and worsen existing heart or respiratory conditions such as asthma.

On the other hand, surgical masks are useless in combating the effects of the haze.

She said, "They are designed to protect other people from the wearer's saliva or spit, not to protect the wearer from particulate matter."

Her opinions are further backed up by the Ministry of Education Singapore (MOE), which states that there is currently no international certification standards for the use of masks on children.

Doctors say that the best way to protect your child from the haze is to keep them indoors

Dr Michael Lim of National University Hospital, Singapore told HoneyKids Asia in an interview that the most sensible approach is to stay indoors.

He also suggests keeping windows closed, turning on air conditioning, and using an air purifier.

In Singapore, schools are equipped with air purifiers to ensure students' well-being, in accordance to the country's haze management plans.

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