Child mask mandates for COVID-19: a systematic review

1Citations
Citations of this article
11Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

Abstract

Background Mask mandates for children during the COVID-19 pandemic varied in different locations. A risk-benefit analysis of this intervention has not yet been performed. In this study, we performed a systematic review to assess research on the effectiveness of mask wearing in children. Methods We performed database searches up to February 2023. The studies were screened by title and abstract, and included studies were further screened as full-text references. A risk-of-bias analysis was performed by two independent reviewers and adjudicated by a third reviewer. Results We screened 597 studies and included 22 in the final analysis. There were no randomised controlled trials in children assessing the benefits of mask wearing to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection or transmission. The six observational studies reporting an association between child masking and lower infection rate or antibody seropositivity had critical (n=5) or serious (n=1) risk of bias; all six were potentially confounded by important differences between masked and unmasked groups and two were shown to have non-significant results when reanalysed. Sixteen other observational studies found no association between mask wearing and infection or transmission. Conclusions Real-world effectiveness of child mask mandates against SARS-CoV-2 transmission or infection has not been demonstrated with high-quality evidence. The current body of scientific data does not support masking children for protection against COVID-19.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Sandlund, J., Duriseti, R., Ladhani, S. N., Stuart, K., Noble, J., & Høeg, T. B. (2023). Child mask mandates for COVID-19: a systematic review. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 109(3), E2. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2023-326215

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free