Perri Klass, MD, How to Help Kids Embrace Mask-Wearing, The New York Times, July 21, 2020, Laura Markham, PhD, psychologist and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, phone interview, July 13, 2020, Taher Saif, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, phone interview, July 13, 2020, Joseph Martyak, director of communications at US Consumer Product Safety Commission, email interview, July 15, 2020, Jennifer Shu, MD, pediatrician and author, phone interview, July 17, 2020, Onur Aydin, Taher Saif, et al., Performance of Fabrics for Home-Made Masks Against the Spread of Respiratory Infections Through Droplets: A Quantitative Mechanistic Study, MedRxIv, July 8, 2020, Prateek Bahl, C. Raina MacIntyre, et al., Face coverings and mask to minimise droplet dispersion and aerosolisation: a video case study, Thorax, July 24, 2020. Nobody should wear masks with exhalation valves, as these can let particles of virus escape. Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. It’s important to start small and work up to longer periods, Markham said. There are a lot of great masks out there, but there are also many of them that don’t do much good at all. Photo: Rozette Rago, The two-layer Scout & Indiana mask is the only one among our picks that has a filter pocket, which allows you to add an extra layer of material or a filter. The masks fit well from nose to chin, though, and provide sufficient cheek-to-cheek coverage. Even though it’s made from only two layers, the knit material of each layer feels quite thick, like a heavyweight T-shirt. That means it is recommended that children not wear N95 masks. Unlike the Old Navy pleated mask, this mask offers a white backing, which could be beneficial for those with sensitive skin. You can also sew face masks for kids by hand. However, one of this mask’s two layers is mesh, which may diminish filtration compared with a mask with two or three solid layers of fabric. If you want to use your face mask purchase to support a good cause in this way, be sure to inquire exactly how much will go to the organization. The masks are $13 each. Each print is limited (and the selections update regularly), so don’t wait too long to order if your child is excited about one. A filter pocket might be helpful if you want the option of bolstering a mask with an added layer when desired. Filters should be changed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. They are machine washable, and you can also tumble dry them. Parents also reported on fit, fabric, and how the masks stood up to washing. You may have to try more than one brand or style of mask before you find the right one for your child. Made from 100 percent cotton quilting fabric, these masks are made with two layers of fabric and have a filter pocket for added assurance. A July 2020 mask study—which visualized the effectiveness of face coverings at containing droplets emanating from speaking, coughing, and sneezing—also concluded that “a cloth face covering with at least two layers is preferable to a single-layer one.” For these reasons we considered only masks made from two or three layers. 1 . The elastic straps can be adjusted by unknotting and retying them. Saif recommends against adding too many layers of fabric or a filter, if that makes the mask less breathable, because you might force air to come in and go out around the mask (where there are gaps between the mask and your face); this may actually make the mask less effective. If the mask is easy to see through, the filtration capability is probably lower than on a mask that’s harder to see through. This mask is among the few we’ve found for kids that has a filter pocket, a nose-bridge wire, and adjustable ear loops. Wirecutter’s editor-in-chief on why a bounce house can be a backyard godsend for energetic kids stuck at home during coronavirus. Going off of cuteness ALONE, these masks obviously rank highly! Photo: Rozette Rago, The Old Navy mask is made of three layers of woven cotton, but it doesn't have a nose-bridge wire or adjustable ear loops. These types of masks are intended for use when there is debris in the air, like at a construction site or for smoke or pollution. Some masks have nose-bridge wires, which help the top of the mask contour to the nose. Plastic face shields may offer some protection to the wearer if they have to get close to someone who may have an infection, but they do not provide much in the way of protection for anyone other than the wearer (4). Research into mask construction and efficacy is ongoing, and we plan to update this guide as new information and masks become available. Markham recommended telling kids that “this is a way we show that we’re caring for other people.” And to make it fun, you could say, “We’re superheroes, just like superheroes wear masks, we’re protecting other people. It comes in many colors and multiple sizes, but some kids couldn’t get a good fit. The two layers of cotton did feel thinner than that of the Old Navy and Gap Kids masks (when the Scout & Indiana mask was held up to a window, we could see specks of light coming through the fabric). (According to Athleta’s website, this mask is not intended for kids younger than 3). Flaws but not dealbeakers: The cushy knit of the City Threads mask was polarizing among our kid testers: Some found it cozy, but others found it to be too warm and thick. The California-based company sells washable cloth face masks in a handful of styles, and its face mask with a nose wire and filter pocket is a popular pick. Learn more. But, be sure to avoid saying anything that might scare your child or trying to guilt them into wearing one. We particularly like this face mask for kids because it can be used either with or without a filter. Based on our research and testing, we think the masks recommended in this guide are likely to fit comfortably on a range of kids, and they meet the criteria for layers and breathability outlined above. It is among the larger masks we've investigated at 7.5 inches wide and 5.25 inches tall, and has a nose-bridge wire, but doesn't have adjustable ear loops. If you have received different advice from your family medical professional, then always follow their instructions. They can wear this while … We did not test masks’ or filters’ protective abilities, and we didn’t consider a filter pocket essential in our testing criteria (though several of our recommendations, do have a filter pocket). The 3-ply design provides extra protection … The style of the mask does not matter as much as its size and the material. And if your child doesn’t fancy that, this L.A.-based company also produces butterfly and heart styles. How Do You Make a Child-Friendly Face Mask? This mask was among the few we found that came in multiple sizes and had adjustable ear loops (you can unknot and retie the loops to make them tighter), which helped it fit our younger testers better. For kids who are too physically big for the smaller kids’ face masks, but not yet ready to plunge into a world of boring adult masks, there are these options from Cat and Jack at Target. Hours of mask-wearing can cause skin irritation, chafing, or chapped lips. Both styles should fall just below the eyes and go up higher on the nose. Ilandistyle Kids Face Mask ($9.99; etsy.com) Ilandistyle Kids Face Mask Take your pick from various gorgeous patterns, from wildflowers to polka dots, for this triple-layer mask. There are a lot of fun kid-friendly patterns to choose from, such as rockets, planets, dinosaurs, and rainbows. This two-layer, woven cotton mask has a filter pocket and adjustable ear loops, and it’s available in a selection of cheery, fun prints. You’ll also receive filters for added protection. It is for these reasons the masks are not further up on the list. The same company makes another size, in the same fabrics, for older kids and adults. Plus, when we ordered from Amazon, the City Threads mask was one of the quickest to arrive. We tested the Levi’s mask, which is well priced and comes in multiple sizes. These masks turn inside out and fold up to become cute animal faces with a wrist strap on the back. Flat masks are simple rectangles of fabric and are less likely to conform to the face. According to Shu, the ideal mask for kids is “one that a child is willing and able to wear for most of the day, put on and remove correctly, and that she won’t be constantly touching.” Additionally, for a kids face mask to be comfortable and effective, it needs to fit properly, be made from multiple layers of a breathable material, and be appealing to kids. They're made with … The biggest problem with face mask comfort seems to be the ear loops. Masks are made from tightly-knit cotton and are washable. A study involving one adult mask wearer showed that cone-style masks achieved a better seal on a representative adult-size face than pleated or flat masks, but there’s no evidence (yet) that one style is objectively better for kids. We’ve categorized the masks to make it easier to locate a great one for your child. 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