Before you mask your child in a bandana or neck gaiter, read this: The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says evaluation is ongoing on the effectiveness of those types of face coverings in preventing droplets and particles from spreading the coronavirus.
Face shields, folded handkerchiefs and masks with exhalation valves or vents are also discouraged since they may not be good barriers after someone with COVID-19 talks, coughs or sneezes.
What to use? Two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric. The mask should completely cover your nose and mouth, and it should fit snugly against the side of your face and have no gaps, says the CDC.
The CDC recommends people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Wash your hands before putting on a mask and do not touch the mask when wearing it.
Pediatrician Dr. Ray Fabius told Kindercare parents that they can make wearing a mask easier to understand for kids by pointing out that firefighters, doctors, nurses, dentists and superheroes wear masks to protect people.
Old Navy posted on Twitter that “masks are the new capes.”
For all of Oregon, face coverings are required for everyone five and older in indoor public spaces and outdoors anywhere physical distancing isn’t possible.
Children’s masks are about 5.75 inches wide by 3 inches high while adult masks are typically 7.5 inches long and 3.5 inches tall. No mask is designed to be used on children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing.
Here are companies that make face masks for children and adults. Several support health efforts and people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
If you need to buy a better face mask or replace ones that are months old, retailers are having back-to-school and other sales.
There are more options that really fit a child as well as antimicrobial face coverings, new styles (characters) and other improvements.
American Eagle has reusable masks made with two layers and an antimicrobial finish. Youth face masks start around $14 and come in a variety of prints and patterns. Twenty percent of all mask sales will go to the Crisis Text Line.
Disney has Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars character-theme face masks in small, medium and large (see measuring chart) and the company is donating one million cloth face masks for children and families in underserved and vulnerable communities across the U.S. through MedShare.
Spacemask offers three layers of antibacterial nanotech fabric yarn that is said to protect from dangerous particles, droplets, dust, smog, pollen and mold. The washable, contoured Advanced Nanotech Premium face mask is $19 (the small size is 6.5 inches wide by 5 inches high). Take 5% off when entering your email. Take 10% off orders of $100 or more with the code SPACEVIP10. There is free shipping on orders more than $39. The company pledges to donate 5,000 masks.
School MaskPack has color-coded, Crayola-branded reusable masks ($29.99 for a five-pack) that come with their own mesh laundry bag to keep them together in the washing machine. The masks have adjustable ear straps to securely fit a wide variety of face shapes, and sizes for ages starting at 3 years old. The company is donating 1% of net sales to No Kid Hungry, DonorsChoose and Heart of America.
MasQd has a kids collection with themes of green camouflage, rainbow hearts, space, unicorns, cars, puppies and solid colors ($15 each or a 5-pack for $60 or 10-pack for $100) plus mask filters. Take 15% off your first order by entering your email.
The Odells has handmade, washable masks made of a cotton blend with adjustable, behind-the-ear straps with an interior pocket sized to fit a PM2.5 filter in children and adults sizes ($10). Each mask sold supports 10 meals for hungry children and adults.
The Gap has masks in kid-friendly themes like Hello Kitty, Jurassic Park, Ninja Turtles, Justice League, Minecraft and Minions (3-pack for $18). Receive 30% off your purchase with the code SEPT. The company pledges to give away 50,000 masks to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Canada.
Maisonette has brightly printed and patterned cotton face masks in small, medium and large sizes. For every mask sold ($16-$20), a donation will be made to Baby2Baby, which helps children living in poverty. Receive 10% off your first order when you spend $75 or more. A three-pack ($45) has a seahorse, hydrangea and tie-dye print.
North St. Bags in Portland has solid-colored face masks ($19.99 each) for children and adults made of three layers of tight knit cotton for optimal filtering and breathability. Buy any four masks and receive the fifth one for free. Receive 10% off your first order. The company, which retooled its production line to make personal protective gear for health organizations, hospitals and government agencies, donates 1% of every sale to environmental organizations as part of the 1% For the Planet Community.
Walmart has face coverings for kids on sale. A five-pack of reusable face masks in a washable polyester-blend for ages 3-10 is $13.98 (regular price is $21). There are also Hot Wheel themes and other options made with cotton.
Amazon has an ever-changing supply of children’s protective masks. Rabbit Skins has a two-ply cotton face covering for kids that is washable and reusable ($8.95). Cubcoats’ reusable kids’ face masks depict Pimm The Puppy and Tomo The Tiger ($14.99 for a two-pack). Amazon also has antimicrobial masks.
Vistaprint has colorful, reusable masks with a 100% cotton, anti-allergenic inner layer and a replaceable filter system that blocks airborne contaminants without trapping moisture. There is an artist collection while child’s masks have dinosaurs, planets and bands of colors ($13 child size, from $16 for adult sizes plus free shipping). The company says 10% of mask sales will be donated to help small businesses.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072