The first few days following a holiday break, children often feel anxious. Due to rapid spread of Covid-19’s Omicron variant, this is particularly true. The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is three times as transmissible as Delta so masks will still be vital. But parents are still having trouble deciding which mask to gift their children.
Karl E.Minges Ph.D. Interim Dean of New Haven University School of Health Sciences stated that mask wear is essential at this stage as it provides the only way for small children to get the vaccine. “There has been an increase of Covid-positive children, and more hospitalizations. There is a difference between the types of masks that are used with omicron and those that are not.
His advice aligns to the Centers for Disease Control’s official website.
“Due the highly contagious Delta virus that is currently circulating, CDC suggests universal indoor concealment for all students (age 2 or over), staff, teachers, visitors, and students at K-12 schools, regardless of their vaccination status.”
Which masks work best for children returning to school?
While N95s remain the best option to prevent infection spread, they are not recommended for use by children. In fact, any brand that claims to sell N95 mask in small sizes is selling unsafe (and counterfeit) masks. Most experts agree that cloth Masks are not sufficient.
Instructions for use and wearing N95 and KN95 mask in schools
This KN95 mask are suitable for use as a cloth covering. This mask is N95-compatible. Produced and tested abroad. The Vermont Department of Public Safety tested the masks. They cannot be “fit-tested” to replace an N95 masks. This means that you cannot use them in place of N95 masks. In situations where a N95 fit-tested mask is required this mask(s) will not be suitable.
These can, however, be used as a substitute for a surgical face mask or cloth cover when performing healthcare tasks.
In the following scenarios:
- You can wear general clothing in your school building
- Use in the classroom, or any other place where several people are present for a prolonged period of time.
- Used in close contact with students, where six feet distance is impossible to maintain.
Although they cannot be washed, masks can be used for extended periods of time with proper care. It is possible to wash your masks.
- As long as your breathing is normal, you can still use your mask. Please throw away any mask that has become stained.
- You can keep your mask clean between uses by placing it in a paper bag for 48-hours before you put it on again. You can protect your face with a plastic mask to keep it from getting soiled.
How to wear your Mask:
- Always wash your hands immediately after putting on your mask.
- Before and after you take it off, if you intend to reuse it.
- Cover your face with the mask, keeping the nosepiece and bottom above your chin.
- Attach the straps to your head with the top strap in front and the bottom strap below your ears. Don’t cross the straps.
- To mold the metal to your nose, adjust the metal nose clip with both your hands.
- If necessary, adjust the fit to reduce airflow around your mask
- If fogging is a problem for you, use soapy water to clean the lenses.
Avoid excess oil before applying your mask.