MASK recommendations for CHILDREN are NOT supported by SCIENTIFIC evidence

… We performed database searches up to February 2023

… A risk-of-bias analysis was performed by two independent reviewers and adjudicated by a third reviewer

… 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

… Masking recommendations appear to be entirely based on mechanistic and observational data

… a systematic review assessing the evidence has not been performed

… 16 studies found no effect of mask wearing on infection or trasmission

… sei studi che riportavano un’associazione protettiva avevano un rischio critico o grave di bias

… benefits of masking for COVID-19 have not been identified

… mask recommendations for children are not supported by scientific evidence

… COVID-19-related policy recommendations should be informed by high-quality evidence

… Because absence of harm is not established, recommending child masking does not meet the accepted practice of promulgating only medical interventions where benefits clearly outweigh harms