What type of mask should you wear for better protection? All you need to know

Amid the raging second wave, health experts have issued revised COVID-19 guidelines for better safety. It is now recommended to practise double masking instead of wearing a cloth mask, which experts have found to not be as effective.

That can be difficult for people with certain types of facial hair like beard whose masks may not fit well because of it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested shaving or trimming of beards close to the face, to ensure a better fit and to keep you safe.

CDC has also laid down some other guidelines on the type of mask you should wear. You should choose masks that:

*Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
*Completely cover your nose and mouth;
*Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps
*Have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask

As per CDC, you should avoid wearing masks that:

*Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl
*Have exhalation valves or vents that allow virus particles to escape

Regarding face shields, CDC says it is not recommended since their “effectiveness is unknown at this time” although the evaluation is ongoing. Instead, you can wear a gaiter with two layers or fold it to make two layers.

Masks for children

Children should wear one which is made specifically for them. Make sure the mask fits snugly over the nose, mouth, and under the chin and there are no gaps around the sides. Children younger than two years old should not be made to wear masks.

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