There are a lot of things happening right now in the whole world. A lot of things have changed in the past months. All outdoor activities being canceled and wearing a face mask is required when going outside. Face masks are great protective gear that can reduce your chance of getting diseases like coronavirus. However, to make it effective, you need to wear it the right way.
Why wearing a mask is important during a pandemic?
Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) promotes the usage of face masks in public areas. Along with washing hands regularly and avoiding crowded places, using a face mask is one of the best ways to protect yourself during a pandemic.
Wearing a mask will not guarantee that someone won’t be able to get a virus completely. However, these masks reduce the chance of someone catching the disease. In addition, masks can prevent affected people from spreading viruses, minimizing the risk for everyone else. Masks are more effective when partnered with proper hygiene, social distancing, and other preventive measures.
Manufacturers like Hanua are trying their best to provide more masks as the pandemic continues. Are you using your mask as recommended by health experts? You might want to check if you’re doing any or more of these five mistakes in wearing face masks. Here are the wearing mistakes that most people do with their face masks.
5 mistakes people usually made in wearing face masks
1. Wearing the mask below your nose
People who are not very accustomed to wearing face masks usually have the reflex to pull it down. This is especially true if someone has to be outside in an extended amount of time. It can be uncomfortable and irritable for the wearer, even so on users located in an area with hot weather. Pulling the mask down or wearing it below your nose makes it useless, as it is supposed to protect both the mouth and the nose. Avoid doing this, especially in a very crowded place.
2. Wearing a mask with chin exposed
If covering the nose is important, then would it be better to cover all of it? No, that’s a bad idea as well, because you’re leaving your chin exposed. Besides being uncomfortable, you’re also making yourself more exposed by not using a mask as intended. If your mask is too small, it would be very uncomfortable to wear, making it very challenging to breathe. However, if the mask is too big, there will be loose gaps on the side, making it less effective. Consider buying a smaller or bigger mask, depending on your situation.
1. Removing the mask when outside your home
Face masks are supposed to be worn throughout the duration of your stay outside. These masks are supposed to be removed after you finished your activity outside. When you’re in a public place, avoid removing the mask to take a breather, even just for a few seconds. This is not recommended even in places like comfort rooms or empty rooms. It can leave you at risk and exposed to outside dangers and other pollutants.
1. Reusing disposable surgery masks
With facial masks supplies getting more and more limited, there are people who prefer cleaning their masks to reuse them. Unless your mask has a removable filter (like the KN95 and N95 masks), or is manufactured as washable, health experts are against the idea of reusing them. Take note: disposable masks are designed for one-time use only. Once the disposable mask served its purpose, users are expected to dispose of it. Avoid touching the front of the mask while removing it.
2. Wearing the mask on the wrong side
Disposable surgical masks have two distinct sides that serve a different purpose. The blue side (or green in some masks) is a liquid repellant to keep fluids (such as sneeze droplets) from escaping). The white side is meant to absorb exhaled fluid that can reduce the efficiency of the mask. The real filter is located in the middle of the mask. According to Healthline, the proper way to wear a mask is to keep the colored side outside.
5 steps to ensure proper face mask-wearing
1. Know when to wear a mask and wear the proper one
According to the World Health Organization, there are only two groups of people that should wear masks: people who are showing symptoms and people who are caring for sick patients. Thus, mask hoarding is discouraged, as it is needed by medical frontliners the most. Only use masks if you’re in the public, if social distancing is not possible or if you belong to the two groups mentioned above.
2. Make sure your hands are clean before putting a mask
Wash your hand before putting your mask and after disposing of it. This is done to ensure that your hands do not carry contaminants or viruses, which can be transferred to your masks. To remove the mask, pull the elastic away from your earloops from behind until the mask has completely been removed. Don’t put your discarded masks in inappropriate places (like tables and countertops). Take it straight to the trash can. Avoid touching the mask before and after using it.
3. Get a nice-fitting mask and use it properly
Make sure to only use masks that fit snugly and covers half of your face. If no other sizes are available, adjust the earloop until the fabric fits perfectly. Readjusting your face mask in public is not recommended, as this can lead to cross-contamination.
4. Replace the mask as soon as it gets damp
Masks get damp upon usage in a long amount of time. The World Health Organization suggests replacing a new one once it gets damp, as it can reduce the efficiency and efficacy of the mask. Don’t put chemicals like alcohol in the surgical mask and don’t wash it with soap and water.