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How well do face masks worn by children block the release of exhaled particles?


New research published in Pediatric Investigation provides evidence that face masks reduce the release of exhaled particles when used by school-aged children.

For the study, 23 healthy children were asked to perform activities that ranged in intensity (breathe quietly, speak, sing, cough, and sneeze) while wearing no mask, a cloth mask, or a surgical mask.

The production of exhaled particles that were 5 μm or smaller, which is the dominant mode of transmission of many respiratory viruses, increased with coughing and sneezing. Face masks—especially surgical face masks—effectively reduced the release of these and other sized particles.

“Understanding the factors that affect respiratory particle emission can guide public health measures to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, which are a leading cause of death and hospitalization among young children worldwide,” said corresponding author Peter P. Moschovis, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Please include journal attribution in all coverage. For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact: Sara Henning-Stout,

About the Journal
Pediatric Investigation is a fully open access and international journal disseminating the cutting-edge knowledge on clinical observations of pediatric research. Pediatric Investigation focuses on clinical care, clinical practice and translational medicine in the field, publishing work related to pediatric internal medicine, surgery, radiology, pathology, biochemistry, physiology, sociology and history, preventive healthcare, pharmacology and many pediatric subspecialties.

About Wiley
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