UNITED STATES—Face masks have evolved from mere accessories to a necessity in your day to day routine. 

Their use has become widespread because they help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, responsible for unprecedented financial, economical and health damage worldwide.  As a result, fashion houses and sportswear manufacturers have created comfortable and aesthetically appealing face masks (see example), to prevent the spread of the virus.

It’s been widely accepted that wearing a face mask is an important step in reducing the spread of COVID-19.  To ensure they serve their purpose however, there are certain dos and don’ts you should adhere to. 

DO: Remember to Breathe 

It should go without saying, but getting a face mask that allows for air circulation is an important factor.

Since you’re going to be spending a large amount of time wearing a face mask, it is a smart move to buy one that ensures adequate air circulation.  Having a face mask made from breathable materials is particularly important for athletes and more generally, anybody who’s exercising throughout the day.

Sportswear brands such as Under Armour and Hoo-Rag have identified this problem and started issuing moisture-wicking face masks with extra ventilation.  This reduces the discomfort around sweating underneath a mask.

DON’T: Give Children Masks

In most countries, children two years and under are exempt from wearing face masks. 

The rationale behind this decision is that at this age, there’s an increased risk of suffocation.

For children between the ages of three to five, the decision of whether to wear a mask lies with you as parents.  Furthermore, in situations where your child comes in close contact with someone classified as high-risk, such as a grandparent, discretion is obviously advised.

DO: Wash your Hands and Face Mask Regularly

Good hygiene plays a pivotal role in reducing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus and for this reason, medical professionals are encouraging everyone to wash their hands regularly.

Washing your hands is a healthy habit to cultivate in general, but is particularly important when it comes to the use of face masks.  You run the risk of spreading the virus from your hands to your mouth when touching your face mask, making its use entirely redundant.

It is also advisable to ensure your face mask is in a sanitary condition, by washing it regularly.  Washing your face mask will ensure that there is no bacteria or potentially harmful germs left on the fabric.

DON’T: Wear a Facemask Around Your Neck

Our final don’t is one that drives medical professionals crazy.

Keep your face mask on your face, covering both your nose and mouth.  Not one or the other, but both at all times.  

By failing to keep either covered or worse by having your face mask dangle idly around your neck, they are rendered completely useless.

Follow these simple do’s and don’ts of face masks and you can feel proud of your contribution to creating a safe environment for your community as a whole.