The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the Kimberly-Clark Pediatric/Child Face Mask, designed to fit children ages 5 years to 12 years. The mask is meant to be worn in hospitals and health care facilities to help reduce the spread of airborne respiratory tract bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
“Children are not small adults,” said Susan Cummins, M.D., chief pediatric medical officer at FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “They do not breathe as forcefully as adults, especially those with respiratory infections, so the face mask is less resistant to airflow than an adult mask.”
Performance tests reviewed by the FDA showed that air flow and filtering ability of the mask were appropriate for children. The mask, cleared on Sept. 23, 2011, includes specific fitting instructions for the adult who assists the child in using the device. Adult supervision of any child wearing a face mask is an important safety recommendation.
The mask should not be used on patients showing signs of shortness of breath, chest pain, chest pressure, in-drawing of the lower chest wall, dizziness, or confusion.
For more information, readers can contact Yale-New haven Children’s Hospital, 20 York St., New Haven, CT 203 785-2701.