A family standing together outside wearing face masks
A family standing together outside wearing face masks

Not just for adults; the top 5 places kids should also mask up

By Trent

The global events of the past 18 months or so have found many of us become all too familiar with mask wearing as a necessity for daily living. Although many people originally adopted masks due to recommendations or requirements in their locale, many have continued to find masks useful in a wide range of situations and environments. That said, mask wearing for children is often overlooked, with availability of child-friendly masks less widespread and rules for mask wearing often excluding young children. However just like adults, there are indeed a number of situations where wearing a mask can be beneficial for a child's health, cleanliness, or comfort. Here are our top 5 recommendations for where it's a great idea for kids to be masking up:

Park

There's no doubt that kids love to play, with the local park being one of most kids' favorite destinations. Particularly in cities, parks can be anything but a breath of fresh air, with pollution, smog, dirt, and allergy-inducing particles often present in the air. Wearing a mask during playtime reduces the chances of respiratory issues and can also help prevent transmission of any germs to or from your child if they happen to interact with other kids in the playground. As an added bonus, a mask can be a good physical barrier if your child has a habit of trying to eat anything they can get their hands on while they play!

Daycare/School/Preschool

Anywhere that large numbers of children gather together can quickly become a hotspot for germs, bacteria, and other microbes, with the potential for illness to cause your child to be absent from class, missing out on valuable learning. Sending your child to class wearing a mask is a good idea to reduce the chances of them catching an airborne illness, or even worse passing one on to the whole class.

A school backpack with a disposable mask resting on topA mask should be part of every child's school uniform

Public transport

Whether or not your city mandates mask wearing when taking public transport, the typically cramped nature of busses and subway cars makes masks a good idea for both adults and children. Not only do masks reduce the likelihood of picking up an infection in a crowded station or vehicle, but with kids' tendency to touch all manner of potentially contaminated surfaces when in public areas, a mask offers a physical layer of protection which may prevent dirty hands being put into mouths and noses. When it's time to get off the bus or head out of the station into the city, a mask can also prevent harmful fumes from traffic such as trucks and busses from getting into your child's throat or lungs and causing irritation.

Travel

Kids will no doubt encounter a wealth of new experiences while travelling, but there's also a chance that they will pass through some not-so-nice environments during the journey. Closed spaces such as planes, trains, or coaches often contain recirculated air which can be easily contaminated by other travelers in close proximity, so wearing a mask provides an additional barrier against germs and other infections. When arriving at the destination, a mask can prevent big-city pollution or unfamiliar dust and pollen particles from causing breathing issues and potentially disrupting your vacation.

A young girl and father in an airport wearing medical masks

 

Out-of-town

Getting out of the city for a much-needed break can be great for adults and kids alike, and while the fresh air of the countryside is no doubt beneficial for children, farms, gardens, or other green areas can easily bring them into contact with airborne particles. Although totally natural, unfamiliar particles like dust and pollen can cause particularly severe respiratory issues or allergies in children, with a mask able to block out most of these. If it happens to be cold mountain air that you're chasing, a mask is also a great way to keep little noses warm when the temperature drops or icy wind picks up.

Generally speaking, there are not many places where we'd recommend against giving your child the additional protection of a mask. Not only do masks help filter out airborne particles which can be harmful to kids' respiratory systems, but they also provide an extra physical barrier between hand and mouth. Having trouble finding masks which give a good fit around small faces? Moshi's OmniGuard Kids mask with replaceable Nanohedron filter has been specially designed for kids aged 3-6. Keep an eye out on moshi.com for OmniGuard Kids coming soon.

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