In late December 2019, a novel coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China. Since then, all of our lives have changed dramatically for the last year or so.
While vaccines are rolling out throughout the world, it’s still important for you to stay safe by socially distancing and wearing face masks whenever you’re out. But are you wearing these masks correctly?
Read on to find out how to properly wear a face mask so both you and everyone around you are protected.
Types of Face Masks
First of all, there are several different types of face masks out there. They include:
- Single-use, disposable
If you’re buying KN95 masks, you should take a look at these things to consider. Otherwise, for all intents and purposes, this article will cover the use of disposable and cloth masks since those are the most commonly used face masks.
Read on to learn the right way to wear a face mask.
Before Putting on Your Mask
Most people don’t give a second thought to putting on their masks, but it’s actually one of the most important steps in wearing a mask. So it’s vital that you know how to do it properly. Otherwise, you’ll render your mask ineffective.
First, wash your hands with warm water and soap. If you aren’t able to, at least clean your hands with some hand sanitizer prior to touching your face mask.
If you’re using disposable masks, remove one from the box and make sure there are no holes or tears. Then, determine which side is the top, as that’ll tell you which way to orient the mask before putting it on. The top will have a stiffer part in the middle, which is supposed to go over your nose.
You’ll also have to determine which side faces out. In most cases, the white side of the mask will touch your face while the colored side of the mask will be on the outside.
The next step will be determined by which type of mask you’re using.
Putting on Your Mask
If you’re using masks with ear loops, carefully grab each one and place them around your ears.
For those using masks with ties, grab the edges of the mask and place the mask over your nose. Then, put the ties on the crown of your head and tie them in a knot.
Lastly, if you’re using masks with headbands, hold the mask at nose level. Pull the top strap on the crown of your head. Then, pull the bottom strap over and let it rest at the nape of your neck.
Once your face mask is secured on your face, pinch the nose piece so it eliminates any air pockets. At this point, if you’re using a mask with ties, you can tie the bottom ties at the nape of your neck.
Now that the mask is secured on your nose, pull the mask down so it covers both your mouth and chin.
Wearing Your Mask Outside
Whenever you’re outside wearing your mask, there are certain measures you need to take so that it remains as effective as possible.
The general rule of thumb is that once you put on your mask, you shouldn’t touch it again until you need to take it off for good. So this means you should never pull it down to do anything. If you do, then you need to change to a new mask, whether it’s disposable or cloth.
Over time, you’ll be breathing onto the mask, which adds moisture to it. If you feel like your mask is moist or wet, then you’ll also need to change your mask. The same goes for if it gets rained on or some liquids have splashed on it.
Always ensure that your nose is covered at all times, as well as your mouth. If there are any gaps in your mask, droplets can both escape and get into your mask. So if your nose/mouth becomes uncovered or you notice gaps in your mask, you’ll need to put on a new mask.
Taking off Your Mask
To avoid contamination and infection, you should know the proper way to take off your face masks too.
Like with putting on a mask, you’ll need to first wash your hands. Or use hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to running water and soap.
Do not touch the front of your mask while you’re taking it off, as that’s where all the bacteria will be. Instead, use the ear loops, ties, or bands. Either lift these things off your face to get the mask off, untie, or lift the ties and bands off your head.
With disposable masks, throw them into the trash can immediately. Don’t try to reuse them, as they’re already contaminated.
With cloth masks, either wash them by hand right away or put them in your laundry basket. If you opt for the latter option, we suggest that you have a separate pile for contaminated items, just to be safe.
After you’ve done all this, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer again to remove any contaminants.
Know How to Properly Wear a Face Mask
By knowing how to properly wear a face mask, you’re not only keeping yourself safe, but others as well. So remember to refrain from touching your mask, keep it over your nose, and change it as soon as it gets moist.
If you remain alert about the state of your mask and are diligent about changing and/or cleaning it, then you’ll be doing your part in fighting against this deadly pandemic!
Now that you know how to wear a face mask, get more life tips by reading our other blog articles now.