The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world with all its might. Given its extremely contagious nature, protecting ourselves from getting infected with coronavirus and limiting the risks of contamination has become a priority for each of us.
And in this context, some of the measures recommended by health professionals and the government are constantly changing. One of them concerns DIY face masks that literally invaded social media. Although many scientists doubt their protective efficacy, people around the world wear them with pride and you may have seen numerous playful, colorful and trendy designs. However, the question that worries parents is should children wear a protective face mask and how to make one? Read on and find out all the information that you need for DIY protective mask for children!
The protective effect of anti-virus masks questioned
Having in mind that some people do not have any coronavirus symptoms but can nevertheless transmit it, the authorities recommended that citizens wear a protective mask in order to limit and slow the spread of the coronavirus. In addition, in some countries like Ukraine and Morocco, going out of your home with a mask is already compulsory.
These much-needed preventative measures have sparked the imagination of many creative and talented people around the world who have started making protective masks to help fight the pandemic and the shortage of protective equipment. Donations of medical devices intended for health professionals and others involved in the fight against the coronavirus have therefore increased. But scientists doubt the effectiveness of DIY face masks.
In accordance with the rules of the European Union, a respiratory protection mask must be composed of three layers, with a filter layer in the middle. However, the majority of DIY anti-virus masks are made from a single layer of fabric and without a filter and cannot replace a standardized mask. It is true that they are capable of filtering large particles such as pollen and dust, but this does not concern viruses which are microorganisms, so these masks cannot protect us from COVID-19. But in the end, wearing a DIY mask is better than nothing.
According to psychologists, a protective mask creates a false sense of security among carriers, which helps them overcoming the fear and anxiety caused by the coronavirus. But what do specialists say about masks and small children
Do children have to wear a protective face mask?
Children over 2-3 years old can wear a protective mask. This means that toddlers and babies are not allowed to wear a homemade anti-virus mask since there is a risk of choking especially for babies. As a general rule, anyone who has difficulty breathing, is unconscious or unable to remove the mask without assistance should not wear one.
Here are some tips to keep your little child safe:
- Keep the basic hygiene rules: wash your hands very frequently with soap and water or an alcoholic solution for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid social and public contact as much as possible.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces: handles, switches, electronic devices.
- Teach older children to stop touching their faces.
For older children, it is recommended that they wear a protective mask that fits their faces well, is not too tight, includes a few layers of fabric and is reusable. This means that you can easily make a DIY anti-virus mask for your child. Since it is often difficult to force toddlers to wear such a protective mask, we advise you to be creative and choose a fabric that appeals to them. Choose playful and colorful patterns according to their interests. For example, flowers and butterflies for girls and cars for boys.
DIY protective mask for children: easy and detailed tutorial
To make a protective mask, you will need a 100% cotton fabric and a few other materials that we will mention below. This model also has a filter pocket, if you wish to use it. For your information, there are a wide variety of filters on the market, but it’s up to you to choose the one that’s right for you. Here is the list of necessary materials:
- Patterned cotton fabric of your choice
- 2 elastic bands about 12-15 cm long
- Needle and thread
- Filter (optional)
See above two printable patterns that you will need to make a protective mask for your child. As you can see, it is suitable for children under the age of 5 (SMALL) and those aged 5-9 (LARGE). If your toddler is smaller, just remove the LARGE part and use the patterns.
First take the fabric and cut a piece using the FRONT pattern to create the outer layer of the protective mask. Then cut two pieces using the pattern nicknamed BACK to shape the inner layers. Fold these in half lengthwise. Then, pin them on the upper part and the lower one on the right side of the first cut piece (see second example above). Pin and sew all around the mask. Cut the corners, turn over and press.
Then create the pocket for the elastic band by sewing about 1 cm from the edge. Do the same with the other side. Thread the elastic band through a needle and insert it through the pocket as shown in the images above.
Tie the ends. Tighten the elastic and sew around so that the protective mask can be pleated. Repeat with the other elastic.
Maintenance and disinfection of the anti-virus mask
A reusable protective mask requires mandatory maintenance and disinfection. Never put on an anti-virus mask with unwashed or non-disinfected hands. Such a reusable protective mask must be washed at 90 ° in the washing machine. Never wash the mask with clothing or bedding.
If you are using a homemade mask with filter, discard it immediately after removing the mask. Do not wash the mask with the filter. Once the mask is washed and dried, iron it, insert a new filter and reuse!