Since the beginning of the pandemic, otherwise known as COVID-19, Personal Protective Equipment has become an essential everyday necessity.
While most people choose to wear face masks to protect themselves from the virus, there are many others who like to wear face shields as well. Face shields are particularly popular amongst children who battle to wear constrictive face masks at school all day long.
It is important to remember that face shields are mainly a barrier to protect the user against splashes, sprays and splatter of body fluids and should always be used in conjunction with a regulated face mask.
So What Exactly Is A Face Shield?
A face shield is a curved piece of clear plastic that is worn over the face. It reaches from the forehead to just below the chin covering the entire face. It is usually attached to a plastic or elastic headband that can be adjusted for size enabling it to fit around the whole head of the person who is wearing it.
Face shields protect the three areas where pathogens such as the COVID-19 virus which can enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth.
The Advantages of Wearing A Face Shield?
- Face shields are made from commonly used materials which makes them easy to make and inexpensive to purchase.
- Face shields can be reused over and over again and simply cleaned with an antibacterial wipe or soap and water between uses.
- They are more comfortable to wear than face masks.
- A funny fact is that people are more likely to touch their face mask and transfer any viruses or bacteria on their hands to their face. This phenomenon is less likely when they are wearing face shields.
- People wearing medical face masks may need to remove them to communicate with others. A face shield creates extra protection in cases such as this.
- Face shields are a constant reminder to maintain physical distancing.
- They allow us to see facial expressions and lip movements.
- Face shields may be easier to wear for individuals such as children who are capable of limited compliance when it comes to wearing protective face masks.
Here is a breakdown of the top 5 face shields available:
These face shields are anti-fog, re-usable, easy to clean, see-through and unisex. As if this mask is not amazing enough it’s available in different colours!
This amazing face shield fits perfectly and is made of unbreakable Polycarbonate materials. The clear view when using this face shield allows for improved communication and allows your smile to be seen.
This face shield has many uses but is mainly used as a barrier for the eyes, nose and mouth to protect yourself and others from potential splatters and sprays of body fluids. The exquisite face shield comes with a glasses design for superior comfort wear all day.
These full-face barriers protect the wearer from droplets, saliva and dust and are made with a foam headband. They are also extremely lightweight and re-usable.
These adorable face shields provide a clear barrier directly in front of your child’s face and can also serve as a reminder for them not to touch their face.
Available in Tiger, Sheep, Monkey, Panda, Bunny or Smiley designs.
Children and Face Shields
Masks should not be worn by:
Children younger than 2 years old
Anyone who has trouble breathing
Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance (source).
The CDC has recognised the challenges of face masks in early childhood classrooms.
In some instances younger children may be unable to wear a cloth face covering adequately, especially if it is for an extended period of time. It is important to remember though that wearing cloth face masks is needed at times when it is hard to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others.
It is extremely hard to expect young children to wear masks all day long at school. Most times children are adjusting their masks as they are sagging or don’t fit well, or they are touching their face either through or beneath the mask.
In a school setting young children’s work areas should be spaced out according to health guidelines while wearing only their face shields. As soon as they are ready to move away from their work area then the face mask should be put on underneath the shield.
Prevention is Key
It is important to remember that using cloth face masks and face shields to reduce the spread of COVID-19 goes hand in hand with other preventive measures such as sanitising, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects.
Physical distancing should also be adhered to and it is also vitally important to ensure that there is good cross-ventilation of the spaces in which we spend our time.
It is also crucial to note that if you wear a face shield in accordance with current recommendations, you need to make sure that you sanitise it frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitisers.
Research has shown that the COVID-19 virus can live longer on plastic than it does on cloth, so if your face shield becomes damaged in any way it is important to replace it immediately.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. But some health experts say shields appear to be very effective at preventing infection for someone going about regular daily activities and not in a high-risk health care setting (source).
For the best protection face shields should ideally be worn in conjunction with a face mask. A face shield alone is unfortunately not enough to protect you from the virus if you are in public places or unable to keep a safe distance from others.
According to Dr. Michael B. Edmond chief quality officer and associate chief medical officer for University of Iowa Health Care, and clinical professor of infectious diseases at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine , plastic face shields can reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
However, while plastic face shields do provide a barrier of protection, droplets in the environment can still be inhaled through the open areas around the plastic visor.
“The altruism you show by wearing one is a kindness to others, and that kindness is returned when someone wears their mask for you. That’s when the real magic happens, when both parties are wearing them. My mask protects you; your mask protects me.” – Dr. Joy Henningsen, clinical assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine (source).
Protective Hygiene are proud suppliers of Masks, Gloves, Sanitisers, Face Shields and Thermometers and much more!
Let Protective Hygiene protect you and your family in a time where sanitization and personal protective equipment can mean the difference between sickness and health.