An overview of available literature on the use of protective facemasks by children for protection from respiratory infectious agents reveals relatively few articles dealing specifically with the topic, despite their use during recent outbreaks (eg, severe acute respiratory syndrome, pandemic influenza). Little is known about the physiological and psychological burdens imposed by these devices and a child's ability to correctly use and tolerate them. This article focuses on the myriad issues associated with protective facemask use by children in the hope of educating public health personnel, healthcare professionals, and families on their limitations and associated risks, and in the hope of fostering much-needed research.
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