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As society negotiates its way out of lockdown and quarantine, one of the ways that we are being advised to stay safe is to wear face masks. Whether you have decided to wear a disposable surgical or cloth face mask, it is important to know how to use one properly. So here is how to safely wear a face mask.
*This is a collaborative post – for more details please see my Disclosure Policy
How To Safely Wear A Face Mask
Face masks can be useful. They may really help prevent the spread of infection. But only if we all know how to correctly and properly wear one. I make my own masks, but you can also buy them from many places, including scientific equipment stockists such as SciQuip.
This following guide also applies to any facial covering you may be using, such as a scarf or bandana. A face covering is only protection if we use it properly, and improper use of a face mask is worse than not having one at all.
Wash Your Hands
Before putting the mask on, wash your hands for at least 30 seconds with hot water and soap. If these are not available use hand gel.
Place Mask On Face
Place mask to cover mouth nose and chin. Pull loop straps behind ears, or tie behind head if strap variety. The coloured side of a single use mask should face outwards.
Get a close cover of the mask over your nose – aim for no gaps between your face and the mask. If there is a piece of metal to shape the nose, pinch this to mould it closely to your face. Adjustable ear loops on your mask are best for keeping the mask as tight as possible without the mask being uncomfortable.
Wear The Mask Without Touching It
Avoid touching the mask whist wearing it. Do not touch your face or adjust the mask. Yes, they are hard to get used to, but imagine that the front of that mask is contaminated with faeces. You do not want to touch the front of it!
Whilst wearing the mask, do not think that it makes you invulnerable. In fact, it is best to keep on acting like you haven’t got the mask on at all. Keep yourself safe by staying a safe social distance from others, and avoiding unnecessary exposure to potential infection.
Replace the mask if it becomes damp, by following the procedure for removing the mask, then starting back at the beginning.
Removing The Mask
Once you have finished wearing the mask, wash your hands before removing it. Or use hand gel if no soap and water is available.
Remove the mask by using the ear loops or ties. Do not touch the front of the mask.
Dispose of paper masks in a closed bin. Then wash your hands again.
Do not reuse single use masks!
Put cloth masks in a closed container for washing. Do not shake potentially infected items of clothing or masks. Wash cloth masks on a high temperature as soon as possible. And wash hands after handling cloth masks, or potentially infected clothing.
I hope that this has been useful. Need to know how to make masks? See my post here.
Will you be wearing a mask? I would love to know what your thoughts are. Contact me using the comments below, or find me on social media.
And please do pin this post for later.