Wearing a face mask in public (doctor’s office, grocery store, etc.) is now recommended by the CDC. Cloth masks serve as an additional health measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This is especially important among asymptomatic individuals who pose a risk of spreading the virus to others. Social distancing remains our first-line defense. Hand-washing is our second and wearing a mask is our third.
Mask Fit and Cleanliness
Ideally, a cloth mask should fit snugly on your cheeks and chin. They can easily be fashioned from an old shirt, bandana or cloth at home and secured with elastic hair ties or ribbons. We recommend doubling the cotton cloth for added protection, but a filter is not necessary. Ideally, these should be able to withstand being washed and dried with each wearing. Remember to wash your hands before and after placement and to try not to touch your face while wearing it.
Mask Protocol for Children
Your children are best to be left at home when venturing out to the grocery store; however, when coming to the doctor, having them wear a mask right now is preferable. CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 2 SHOULD NEVER HAVE A MASK ON because of the risk of suffocation. Infants in car seat carriers may simply have a blanket or appropriate cover placed over their seat to maintain airflow as long as they are directly supervised by an adult. A pleated cotton mask with elastic straps that go behind the ear will most likely work best for your child.
Making Your Children Comfortable
- Practice with your children at home wearing a mask or bandana.
- Tell them that they are superheroes that are helping all of us stay safe and healthy.
- Place one on a favorite stuffed animal friend.
- Model this behavior for your children as well – they are far more likely to wear a mask if you are also wearing one.
- In circumstances when you can maintain appropriate social distancing outside the home (on a walk, bike ride, etc.) then they don’t need to wear a mask necessarily.
On a final note, we recommend following CDC guidelines as much as possible to keep you and your family healthy and safe.