Face masks should be effective, comfortable for students, pediatrician says

Back to School

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Students across the state are once again starting the school year wearing face masks, and one local pediatrician tells 12 News now is the time to ensure they’re wearing them safely and effectively.

Dr. Allison Brindel, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Rhode Island chapter, said parents should be reminding their children of the right way to wear a face covering.

“Kids don’t need to be wearing the N-95 or KN-95,” Brindel said.

The most comfortable type of mask students can wear are cloth masks or paper surgical masks.

“The industry is booming so that cloth masks can be fun, fashionable,” she said. “You want at least two layers of fabric to add that extra layer of protection.”

But cloth masks should only be worn are certain times, depending on the activity.

“On days that they have physical education class, outdoor recess, or are involved in sports or activities, that’s when some kids prefer the surgical type masks, because they’re lighter,” she explained.

Brindel said masks are just like kids, individual and unique, so finding the one that makes your child comfortable is what’s most important.

“One of my children wears glasses. When she found the mask that worked for her, fogging and things like that really haven’t been an issue,” she said. “We have tie-dye masks in our home, to coordinate with an outfit, there’s ones with animal patterns on them. So parents, you know your child best.”

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