It’s back to school once again in a pandemic. And like last August, we went shopping for school supplies, shoes (why do their feet grow so fast?!), and masks.
After spending many hours and dollars trying every kind of mask imaginable last school year, we learned many things and hope these tips will help other families have a successful school year.
Four Tips To Make Masks Comfortable, Safer and Habitable
- Quality – Buy from a company that specializes in face masks and not from a well meaning local seamstress (that said, please support your local businesses). There are so many masks available now to fit every budget. Look for breathable fabrics that offer built in filtration like ones made with nano fibers when possible. Look for nose clips and adjustable ear loops. Avoid vents and gaiters (many schools don’t accept them). And if looking at disposables, look for ones that are individually wrapped (makes it easy to send extra masks to school in backpacks), and triple or more layered. Do take a moment to check the durability of the ear loops. Some disposable masks have ear loops that snap very easily.
- Fit and Shape – Can you understand your child’s speech with a mask on? We found that cone shaped or 3D/folding masks that create a pocket away from the mouth not only made breathing easier but also reduced the muffling of our son’s speech. Is the mask often soaking wet with saliva? Most young kids are mouth breathers and we found many soft shapeless fabric masks got sucked into our son’s mouth. Pay close attention to the sizing chart for each mask because no two are the same. Test to see if the mask rides up and down when speaking. A proper fitting mask should have as little of a gap as possible around the nose, sides, hug the chin and stay on the nose even when speaking.
- Comfort – Like shoes, if it isn’t comfortable, the child won’t wear it. Proper fit and lightweight breathable material will make the mask more comfortable to keep on during the school day. Practice until the child is comfortable putting it on and off by themselves. We also found that using a lanyard with breakaway connectors helped our son not lose his mask and kept it off the ground/dirty surfaces when he was eating or drinking.
- Attitude – We all started wearing our masks as a family before our son went back to school last year. And even after we got vaccinated, we kept ours on when going to public indoor places because he was not. We discussed why we are wearing masks. We made it part of our routine for leaving the house like putting on shoes. We made wearing a mask no big deal and so he doesn’t think it is a big deal.
What our rising Kindergartener is wearing to school this year
Happy Masks, has implemented a regular restocking schedule and waitlist. Follow them on Instagram for updates. (s/ preschool and primary school age kids, m/older kids).
Pros: Built in nano fiber filter. The cone shape keeps the mask away from the mouth. It also has a built-in nose clip and adjustable ears.
Cons: Cleaning process (hand wash and air dry). Relatively high initial cost ($25 each), but each one lasts about 50 washes (only $0.50 per wear).
Individually wrapped disposables masks for kids:
- G-Box Children’s 5-Layer Disposable Particulate Respirator (25-pcs, Individually Wrapped & Sealed)
- Dr.Puri New Micro-Dust Protection Face Premium Mask (KF94) White Small
- Kids Face Mask Boys (50 Pack, Individually Wrapped) – 3-Ply Non-Medical Face Masks for Kids
From our family to yours, good luck and have a fun safe school year!
~ W Family
More At TigerKubz
- Interactive Read Aloud Is Important For Kids and Preschoolers
- What Standards to Look For In An Early Childhood Preschool Program
- How Many Books Should I Read to My Toddler a Day?
- How to Choose Preschool Homeschool Curriculum Kits for Parents
- Tips On Making Masks For Kids At School Comfortable
- How Learnings Kits Helped Me Teach My Preschooler
Sheryll is the proud mom to 3 boys (1, 5, and 12-years-old) and wife to her better half. She is the founder and CEO of TigerKubz and is on a mission to empower parents with tools to easily engage their little learners. When Sheryll is not thinking of creative ways to make learning experiences of everyday life, changing diapers, or chasing after her kids, you may find her in the kitchen trying out new recipes, attempting to fish on a nice day, or jamming out to Disney singalongs with Alexa.