Children and Wearing Masks - COVID-19 (23)

30 July, 2020

Dear mask tree members

I would like to share a survey for paediatricians in Japan.

The survey is small, but the results are interesting.

Questions were: 1. the category of medical professionals, 2. school doctor or not, 3. prefecture, 4. opinions about wearing a mask in several age groups, and 5. for comments.

Response and response rate:

The number of participants was 1,471, and the number of fully valid responses was 262 (18%).

Demographic composition:

93% was paediatricians, 4% was other medical doctors, 2% was nurses and 1% was pharmacists.

31 % of medical doctors were working as a preschool doctor. 26% were school doctors in elementary school.


Half and more answered that school-age children should wear masks.

One third answered that children in 4-6 years old should do so.

However, more than 80% of them answered that children in 2-3 years old should not do so.

Most of them didn’t allow wearing masks for 0-1 years old children.

The free descriptions (some modifications) are as follows;

"The pressure of society is too strong, so, children have to wear masks. It’s difficult to stop wearing a mask".

"It is not necessary to wear a mask for children under 4 years old considering the heatstroke in the coming season".

"I feel a certain threat in the atmosphere of wearing a mask".

"Wearing a mask is better than not wearing to prevent the infection".

"Wearing a mask has little meaning in infection prevention and it also hinders children from communication".

"Wearing a mask does not prevent receiving infection, but if an infected child wears it, it will prevent the spread of infection to other children".

"Wearing a mask should not be enforced".

"Wearing a mask is necessary before vaccine-innovation".

"Wearing a mask has not any sense".

The Japan Pediatric Society shows a guideline of wearing masks for children. But it's not original, because the comment was merely based on the CDC recommendation.

The summary is 'It is dangerous for infants to wear masks. Be especially careful with children under the age of two'.

So, Japanese paediatricians have many different opinions about wearing a mask.

Kind regards,


CHIFA Profile: Hajime Takeuchi is a professor at the Bukkyo University in Japan. Professional interests: child health, child poverty, child wellbeing. He is a CHIFA Country Representative for Japan and a member of the CHIFA Steering Group (child health and rights) Email: takechanespid AT