Are you wearing your mask correctly?
If you own a reusable fabric mask you may be wondering how you can avoid the most common ways to potentially be at risk for mishandling it.
It might not seem that complicated. But you could be doing it wrong.
And perhaps worse, you might accidentally expose yourself further to the possibility of catching COVID-19 without the proper safety precautions.
Follow our guidelines below to learn what you can do (and not do) to make sure you wear your mask correctly.
How to wear your mask properly:
- Try and make it a habit to wear your mask in public. Especially when you enter a store or an enclosed public space.
- Your mask should cover more than just the tip of your nose. Place it on the bridge of your nose to create the best seal possible.
- Make sure you are careful not to touch your eyes nose or mouth when removing the mask and wash your hands immediately after.
- Wear a mask if you'll be in close contact with someone who isn't family/roommate or in your close network of friends (pandemic pod).
- Don't put mask on babies and children who are under 2 years old. Or seniors who already struggle to breathe. There are alternative ways to protect them (such as face shield visors).
- Don't touch the outside of the mask. If a person touches the outside of the mask, the virus could then be on his/her hand and passed onto whatever else is touched, doctors said. Which is why doctors also strongly advise to not touch your face.
- When you're taking the mask off or putting it on, use the side straps.
- For those who feel claustrophobic wearing a mask, try to slow your breathing and calm your anxiety.
- Make sure your mask is not too loose on your face. Adjust the straps/ear loops until it is snug.
- If you have facial hair- consider getting a wider/larger mask to make sure it fits in the mask. It needs to be comfortable and allow for breathing without restriction, but it shouldn’t billow out on the sides.
- When putting your mask on and taking your mask off, grasp the mask by the ear loops or ties. Always handle your mask with clean hands and avoid touching your face when removing the mask. Immediately wash your hands after handling your mask and store it in a separate containment area like a sealed bag.
Caring for your Mask:
- You should routinely wash your cloth masks. You should also thoroughly dry the masks before wearing again. To extend the life of our masks we recommend you wash & dry our masks in a delicate cycle in the machine or hand wash in warm/hot water.
- Between uses you can spray alcohol on your mask inside & out. Make sure that the alcohol is at least 60% or greater (ethanol/ethyl) or 70% or greater (isopropanol).
- Once a reusable mask becomes damaged, you should safely dispose of it in a closed trash bin, and wash your hands.