This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

While medical experts are encouraging everyone to wear a mask or face covering when they go out in order to prevent infection and stop the chance of virus spread, pediatricians warn to never put a mask on a baby.

The Centers for Disease Control said infants have such small airways, putting a mask on could do more harm than good.

Doctors said on children younger than 2-years-old, a mask could suffocate them.

Instead, keep the little ones out of public settings and have family members wear a mask around the baby. Wash your hands often. And if you have to go out, you may place a blanket loosely over the car seat or carrier but never over the baby.

Dr Mike Cappello is a neonatologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital Park Ridge.

“No child under the age of 2 should ever wear a mask due to the risk of accidental suffocation,” he said. “Children that are that young have very small airways and they lack the strength and wherewithal to reposition themselves if there was an obstruction from the mask. The size of the airway and the risk for limiting oxygen delivery to their lungs and organs would be very significant.”

When it comes to delivering babies, in Illinois, one support person is allowed in the hospital with a pregnant mother. That is not the same in other states who have put restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.