Face masks have become part of the new normal in America following the CDC’s recommendation that people wear them in public, as well as mandatory actions in Pennsylvania. But wearing one the wrong way could be as bad as not wearing one at all.
Facemasks are meant to help us protect ourselves and others from accidentally spreading COVID19, just like hand sanitizer and other products. The KN95 or N95 masks sold online refer to the standard protection designation of a mask that offers good breath-ability and safety, which is why they are so in demand.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your mask’s protective capabilities:
Tip: Your mask needs to cover both mouth and nose
If you’re wearing your mask low so it only covers your mouth – that’s wrong – and you risk becoming ill or spreading your illness.
Tip: Your mask needs to fit your face – it can’t be too loose
KN95 and N95 respirators that dentists and other medical professionals use are designed to snuggly fit to the face. Surgical masks and home made masks, often fit loosely near the sides and this gap can be problematic. So close the gap as best you can. Also, watch out for beards – they can really puff it out!
Tip: Keep your mask out of contact with other items/body parts
If the virus gets on clothing or your body, and the mask touches these areas, that’s another issue because you are bringing the virus back to your nose when you put it back on. Don’t leave it on your neck when you’re not using it and don’t touch the front of it to remove it – use the straps to remove it.
Tip: Your face mask needs to cover your full nose – not just the tip
Your mask should cover to the bridge of your nose, not just the end of it. This creates the best protection because it makes a good seal that keeps contaminates out.
Tip: Clean your mask if you re-use it (especially cloth masks)
The CDC says you can wash homemade fabric masks in a washing machine. N95/KN95 masks are available in limited supply and are meant to be disposable, but they can be steamed over a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, but MUST be dry before using again. If the mask can’t be cleaned, then it should be disposed, otherwise it could become THE SOURCE of contamination, rather than protecting you.
Stay safe and stay healthy!