Most of us in the world are heading into some sort of month 8 of the coronavirus pandemic and one thing is pretty clear. Face masks aren't going anywhere--especially face masks for kids.
Many of us have children in school who are required to wear face masks for attendance. And, as the coronavirus numbers keep climbing, it has become apparent that we will be wearing them for a long time, if not during every season of illness in the future. Even if your children are home from school, whether homeschooling or virtual schooling, they still typically have to wear a face mask when they enter a store or any public building.
The idea of face masks has actually become so "normal" to many of us that we don't even think twice anymore before we grab them to go run errands. For kids, there are several different types of face masks available to make sure that they are as comfortable for them as possible.
Different types of face masks for kids
There are a few different options when it comes to face masks for kids.
- The cotton face mask- This is the most traditional and most widely available type of face mask. Major retailers now carry them in-store with some of your child's favorite characters which helps keep them motivated to wear it. They also are usually made a little bit smaller in order fit a child's face more securely. Some child face masks have adjustable ear straps which makes it easier for them to fit smaller kids like toddlers or young school-age children.
- Face shields- Face shields are clear, plastic shields that are worn like a headband that goes over your child's face. For many schools and businesses, a face shield alone is not sufficient and a cotton face mask or a buff must be worn in conjunction with it.
- Buff/Gaiter- A buff is a traditional accessory for those in both extreme cold and extreme warm climates. They are traditionally worn around the neck and the face, up to the eyes, to protect from cold and sunlight. They have become more popular in recent months, however, as face masks.
Cotton face masks
Cotton face masks with your child's favorite characters seem to be fan favorites. These have adjustable ear loops to make them fit easier and more comfortably throughout the day.
Kids love these superhero ones as well as these unicorn and mermaid ones.
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If your child really does not like the traditional cotton masks on their face, then a face shield is a good option. However, many schools do not accept a face shield for attendance, and children are often required to wear a traditional mask or buff along with it.
We love these disposable face shields for kids because they come in several different characters, making it fun for children to wear. Face shields will cover and protect your child's eyes a bit better, and without an additional mask, are a great way for you to see your child's face when worn.
Buffs, or neck gaiters, are a great way to keep your child's face covered from their nose all the way down their neck. Many children prefer buffs or neck gaiters because they don't have anything looped around their ears. They are sometimes looser and more comfortable, and often made with a more breathable material. They do not get as hot, either.
They come in a variety of colors so your child can have one that matches their daily outfit or their personality.
How to keep a face mask clean
There is a saying that says, "Treat your face mask like your underwear: Change it every day, wash it after every use, and don't share it with anyone."
This is a great adage for kids to remember. Face masks will hold a large portion of one's germs especially after we have breathed on it all day. It is imperative that we wash them daily and/or use a new one every day so as to be sure they are clean when they come in contact with our faces and don't continue to harbor harmful germs and viruses.
Wash your face mask daily in warm, soapy water. If you have a face shield, you will either throw it away if it is disposable or wash it with warm, soapy water as well.
Another important thing to keep in mind with a face mask is that it can cause breakouts on your skin. Direct contact with a dirty mask can irritate your skin, causing dirt and bacteria to seep and stay in your pores. Wash your child's face on a regular basis to help prevent what is known as "maskne." Using a clean face mask will also help.
Giving back in the wake of a global pandemic
Although face masks are readily available to those of us in industrialized nations, it is important to remember that not all countries have access to face masks Dr. Rajeev Fernando is an infectious disease physician who is giving back by donating masks to those in need around the world.
He has been recognized as one of "America's Top Doctors in New York" for the specialty of Infectious Disease since 2014. He formerly worked with Doctors Without Borders and runs a charity on behalf of his parents called CHIRAJ .
His #MaskUpEarth campaign has become increasingly popular, and Dr. Fernando is continuing to provide safe face masks for people who cannot afford them or where they are not available. So far they have provided face masks to 13 developed and underdeveloped countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, India, Lebanon, England, France, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia.
If you would like to donate to CHIRAJ to help them provide masks to more people around the world, you can visit their website at https://chiraj.com/donate. If you know of a community that is in need of masks, you can contact Dr. Fernando and his team here.
It looks like face masks won't be going away for a while, so parents should consider getting their child a set of face masks that are comfortable, easy to wear, and easy to clean.