Why kids need masks made for smaller faces
It's becoming more and more necessary for kids to wear masks in a number of situations for both health and comfort reasons. As most masks on the market serve as 'one size fits all' solutions for adults, and kids masks are sometimes difficult to find, many may assume that children should simply use an adult mask or no mask at all. But just as kids' smaller bodies need clothes made to fit them, their smaller faces also need smaller masks to ensure that they are getting the full benefits and protection.
Creating a seal
Most masks work by creating a seal around the face, meaning that the only way air can enter the nose and mouth is by passing through the mask's material and being filtered in the process. An adult mask will not conform tightly to a child's smaller face, making it more likely that unfiltered air will be able to enter the mask through the edges of the mask and essentially negating the benefits of wearing one in the first place.
Just like for adults, a mask should create a seal around the child's face
Key to a mask's functionality is the proximity of the mask material to the nose and mouth, whereby the airflow and pressure from breathing in and out forces air to pass through the mask membrane in both directions. If a child wears a mask that is too big, this will often result in a 'bubble' being created in front of the nose and mouth, increasing the distance between face and mask. In turn, this lessens the ability of natural airflow from breathing to force air out through the mask material and draw new air in, resulting in exhaled air being trapped in the mask 'bubble'. This is likely to cause discomfort and breathability issues as the child rebreathes their own air, with limited fresh air entering the mask from outside.
Just like how a correctly-sized t-shirt or pair of jeans will be the most comfortable for wearing on a regular basis, a well-fitted mask will also be more comfortable for children, especially if worn daily or for extended periods of time. Pressure points such as the nose bridge and back of the ears can cause significant discomfort if a mask is too big (or too small) for the face it is being applied to. Kids' masks are often designed to suit the smaller shape and less-defined curvature of smaller faces, and have similarly smaller ear loops to minimize pressure on the ears.
Most masks are designed to sit just below the eyeline, creating a seal over the bridge of the nose while not affecting visibility. For children, the surface area of an average adult mask can be larger than the area of their entire face! As a result, the top of the mask is likely to protrude above their nose and partially (or fully) block their line of sight. By wearing a mask which is specially suited to smaller faces, children will have better visibility and be able to wear their mask for more activities such as at school and in the park.
A mask should be correctly sized so that it does not obstruct the child's line of sight
Moshi's new OmniGuard™ Kids mask is specially designed for smaller faces and recommended for kids aged 3-6 years, with adjustable ear loops and a wired nose bridge for the perfect fit and all-day comfort. Replaceable Nanohedron™ filters can block particles as small as PM 0.075 (75 nanometers) and are rated for 99.9% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) and Viral Filtration Efficiency (VFE); higher than a standard N95 mask. Available in two vibrant, kid-friendly colors, OmniGuard™ Kids provides adult-like protection for smaller faces.