Feature Article: Is Your Family Putting On and Taking Off Their Masks Safely?
Published on in Parents PACK
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Published on in Parents PACK
Amid the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, one thing is certain: Masks, along with social distancing and handwashing, are necessary in our defense against the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Masks help prevent viral particles from spreading through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes. When worn over the mouth and nose, masks have been shown to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus.
Since not everyone with COVID-19 has symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone 2 years of age and older wear a mask.
While many of us have become accustomed to wearing masks, not everyone may be aware of the best way to put on and take off a mask to prevent accidental exposure to germs that accumulate on the mask.
When putting on your mask, keeping it clean and ensuring a snug fit should be the focus:
Try not to touch the mask while you are wearing it. If you do touch the mask, either wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands. It is important that children are taught not to touch the mask as they get used to wearing it.
How you take off your mask is probably even more important than how you put it on because of the chance of inadvertently exposing your eyes, nose or mouth to germs:
If your mask is disposable, place it in a trash receptacle. If you are out and cannot find a trash bin, fold the mask so germs would be inside and store it until you get home or find a trash receptacle.
Non-disposable masks can be laundered in the washing machine or cleaned by hand:
For more information on masks, check out “Why Do We Need to Wear Masks, and What Do We Need to Know about Them?” (September 30 entry) on the Vaccine Makers Project (VMP) website, where you’ll find:
Download a PDF version of this article.
Read a Huffington Post interview with CHOP physician, Dr. Susan Coffin, about children and masks.
Last updated: March 9, 2022
Categories: Parents PACK October 2020, Feature Article
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
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