Why children shouldn’t wear masks

Monday August 03 2020

Why don’t children under six years of age wear masks to prevent Covid-19? –Amina
Dear Amina,
Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, are the best way to prevent spreading or acquiring Covid-19.

Masks require to especially be worn where social distancing may be difficult (like in public places) or when one is attending to the sick or has cough or sneezing symptoms.

Since children when infected with Covid-19 usually have mild symptoms yet can transmit infections, they just as adults, also require when possible to wear masks to prevent infecting other people.

However, children under two years of age may have difficulties wearing a mask because the mask can restrict breathing since children’s airways are much smaller than those of adults. Wearing a mask can risk these children chocking, which they themselves may not complain about to be addressed appropriately.

Also, children two years and below may not tolerate wearing masks and will keep touching them and their faces risking infection, which the masks are meant to prevent.

Depending on a country’s guidelines about children wearing masks, children older than two years where possible should wear masks. But still, children with breathing problems, those with mental retardation, or those who cannot remove the mask themselves even when they are older than two years should not wear a mask.


Children should be kept at home as much as possible because in public they are unlikely to distance themselves socially. They are also likely to keep touching surfaces and then their faces even when they are told not to do so.

I have not been intimate for a while since my wife is stuck abroad due to Covid-19. However, I have noticed that my semen has a bad odour. What could be the cause? –Allan
Dear Allan,
Semen is mostly made up of sperm, proteins, fructose (to help energise the sperm for transport), and a mixture of chemicals, including citric acid and calcium. But it is the basic amines such as putrescine, spermine, spermidine and cadaverine that are mostly responsible for the mild ammonia swimming pool or bleach-like smell and flavour of semen.

It is true that semen may not always smell the same and this may depend on one’s individual diet, hygiene, and whether one has regular sex (or masturbation) or not. Frequent masturbation, just like protected sex, can actually then normalise the smell.

Diet, especially eating red meat, garlic or drinking a lot of alcohol or caffeine can cause a strong, pungent smell. Minimising those foods and instead eating fruits such as pineapple or oranges can make the smell better.
Lack of ejaculation, which makes the substances that contribute to the smell of semen get more concentrated can make semen have a strong smell.

That said, extremely foul-smelling semen may be a sign of infection possibly a sexually transmitted infection, infections involving the prostate gland or foreskin if one is not circumcised. Treatment of these infections, good foreskin hygiene or circumcision can control the odour.