Dangerous masks for children under two years, Japanese experts warn

A statue of a small boy is pictured with a face mask on April 8, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan’s coronavirus guidelines encourage people to wear masks, but the medical body has warned parents not to put them on children because it makes it difficult to notice changes in face color, expression and breathing, it reads in a flyer.

“It is possible that the masks make it difficult for children to breathe and increase the risk of heat stroke,” he says leaflet.

Babies have narrower airways and masks can make breathing more difficult, increasing the load on their lungs, he continues.

There is also an increased risk of suffocation, particularly if young children vomit behind a mask.

Infants have a relatively low risk of coronavirus infections and the association concludes that masks are not necessary for children under the age of two.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the country’s national emergency on Monday. It had been in existence for nearly a month, but authorities revoked it a week earlier than expected.

However, Abe extended the travel ban to 111 countries starting Wednesday, now including the United States, India and South Africa.

The ban list was expanded by 11 countries this week and prohibits foreign nationals who have remained in those countries from entering Japan.

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Japanese citizens can still enter the country, although they will have to undergo medical tests and self-quarantine for 14 days.

Japan now has a total of 16,581 confirmed cases and 830 coronavirus-related deaths, according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University.
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