People attempting to sell face masks targeted at toddlers and babies during the coronavirus pandemic have been whacked by the Victorian premier for what could be a dangerous practice.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday ahead of a face mask mandate coming into effect at 11.59pm for the greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire areas, Daniel Andrews warned Victorians that toddlers and infants should not be wearing masks, with people over 12 the only ones required to.
The warning about infants wearing masks comes as face coverings targeting kids have emerged for sale on Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services warns under no circumstance should children under two wear a mask due to choking and strangulation hazards.
A Mickey Mouse patterned face mask claiming to be suitable for two to five-year-olds is being sold on Gumtree for $15, while three-ply single-use masks for infants are for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $12.
Other face masks sold in Australia made to fit children younger than four are also being sold on Etsy.
“We have seen some reports of people selling masks for toddlers and babies – that is simply not on,” Mr Andrews told reporters on Wednesday.
“Toddlers should not be wearing masks. Kids 12 and up should be. But under that age, they’re not required to, and babies and toddlers should not be wearing masks.
“Do not buy those products. Do not use those products.”
Victoria reports record number of coronavirus cases
The state announced yet another daily record for cases, edging close to an unprecedented 500 infections.
Mr Andrews announced 484 new cases on Wednesday, with suggestion the daily numbers were stabilising in recent days now thrown out the window.
The alarming total for the state surpasses Australia’s worst day for cases on its own, higher than the nation’s 460 cases recorded on March 28.
Victoria’s previous record total was on Friday, when the state confirmed a further 428 cases.
Those who fail to wear face masks from 11.59pm on Wednesday will be slapped with a $200 fine.
“I hope that not one single fine needs to be issued,” the premier on Sunday when announcing the new rule.
“That is my genuine hope.
“Masks or face coverings, a homemade face covering whether it be a bandana, a scarf, a mask, no matter what grade that mask is at, is better than no face covering at all.”
He added people should show “common sense” and not wear a face mask while, for example, going inside a bank.
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