Face masks have become the new normal as a result of the rapid spread of coronavirus. These essential accessories are used to slow the spread of the COVID-19.
Wearing masks is not enough to stop the spread; however, wearing them correctly coupled with other measures such as keeping social distance, practising good hand hygiene or staying at home can protect yourself and others.
They are designed to create a barrier between your respiratory system and the outer world. Thus ensure your mask covers your mouth and nose to help trap your droplets in the mask and block other people’s droplets that may contain coronavirus from reaching your airways.
That means that when everyone wears their face mask when in a public setting, particularly where maintaining social distancing is hard can help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Since the pandemic is far from over the following are the dos and don’ts when it comes to wearing the face covering.
Face Masks Dos and Don‘ts
- Select the Right Mask
The general public should wear cloth face masks and reserve the medical face mask for healthcare workers. This type of mask is also useful in reducing the spread of the virus, which is transmitted via droplets from the mouth and nose. The fabric should allow you to breathe comfortably.
Clothe mask can be made from home or purchased from stores such as Aussie Defender. On the other hand, the N95 respirator used by healthcare workers having close contact with patients can filter tiny airborne particles compared to cloth masks.
- It Must Fit Snugly
Generally, a mask is designed to create a barrier between your airways and world. For it to perform that role effectively, a face mask should fit snugly but comfortably. You can ensure this by placing the loops around your ear or tying the straps behind your head.
Commercial masks have different sizes so you should pick the one that fits you well. It’s important to note that too small or too big masks will create gaps between the fabric and your face, which causes them to be less effective. Thus, avoid masks that are not adequately designed for you because it offers you zero protection.
- Put On and Take Off the Mask Correctly
Always perform proper hand hygiene when wearing or removing your mask. That means you should wash your hands with soap and water or disinfect them with alcohol-based hand sanitizer before wearing your mask and after removing it.
Handle your mask by the loops or ties but not it’s surface. Untie the lower bow followed by the upper bow when removing a strapped mask.
Further, have a dedicated, safe place for your reusable mask. For instance, you can put it in a plastic bag or envelope instead of your pocket or bag. Each member of the household should handle their mask to minimize contamination.
- Clean Your Mask Regularly
It’s recommended to wash your mask every day. However, this should be guided by how frequent you leave the house. You can clean them with regular detergents and allow them to dry correctly.
It’s beneficial to have more than two masks so that you can clean them between uses. Further, you should avoid sharing masks with other family members. Each individual should handle their masks independently.
Dispose of medical masks after a single use for they’re designed to be used once and discarded.
- Snug Fit Your Mask to Prevent Fogging Up
Millions of people are struggling with fogged glasses when they wear masks. One way of preventing this is by wearing a snugly fitting mask, particularly on the bridge of your nose. That means that no air will escape and cause fogging, which in the end, impairs your vision.
You can also put your glasses over your mask by pulling the top part to sit higher on your nose then adjust your glasses to sit on top of the mask. This will allow the breath to escape and miss your glasses.
You can also wash your classes with soapy water and allow them to air dry. The soap should leave behind a thin film that protects your glasses from fogging.
- Don‘t Touch Your Mask after setting it on
Put your mask correctly and make sure it fits snugly and is well secured behind the ears or at the back of the head. This will ensure that it’s appropriately fitting and thus no need to adjust it later because fiddling it with unclean hands will contaminate it.
Resisting the temptation to scratch your skin when it feels itchy will cause the urge to go away. However, clean your hands immediately or use a hand sanitizer if you inadvertently touch your face or mask.
- Don‘t Ignore Other Safeguards
A face mask doesn’t replace other measures such as social distancing, frequent hand-washing and staying at home. A mask is just one method of protecting yourself and others. However, the primary means of safeguarding against the spread of COVID-19 and flattening of the epidemic curve is social distancing.
Therefore, avoid using a face mask as a free pass to drop or abandon other protective measures. The respiratory droplets land on surfaces when someone infected with COVID-19 sneezes, coughs or laughs. You then pick them when you touch contaminated surfaces like the shopping carts, doorknobs, and so on.
This makes washing of hands frequently a vital safeguard as well.
- Don‘t Put Mask on Children
Children under the age of two should not be masked, but their caregiver should wear masks. However, children aged two years and older can wear masks together with other adults. It would help if you bought masks that will fit them properly. Aussie Defender has a wide range of fabric face masks that will fit both young and old.
Wearing of masks combined with other safeguards can help slow the spread of COVID-19. You should wear a cloth face mask when stepping outside. Wear your mask correctly to avoid creating gaps which can also contribute to fogging of glasses.
Avoid putting masks to babies and toddlers below two years and wash your reusable masks frequently. Observe other safeguards such as social distancing and frequent washing of hands.