5 Mask Mistakes People Make
July 10, 2020
We can anticipate that face masks will continue to be a part of our everyday life as COVID-19 lingers in our communities. Every public place, from a doctor’s office, to the supermarket, to an outdoor dining experience, will require you to wear a mask to prevent the spread of virus.
COVID-19 can be spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person speaks, sings, coughs or sneezes. Once released, the respiratory droplets can travel thought the air about 6 feet and infect someone. Everyone can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask the right way.
But, many people out there simply don’t have a ton of experience wearing a mask and may be wearing them incorrectly. To help, we’ve put together an easy guide on how to wear a mask correctly.
Just as important as knowing how to wear a mask correctly, everyone should understand some of the common mistakes to avoid. Here are five common mask mistakes we’re seeing:
1. Nose Out
Wearing the mask over your nose ensures that your respiratory droplets or nasal mucus remains within your mask and also helps provide some level of protection from other people’s infectious droplets contacting the inside of your nose.
2. Mask Around Chin
Cloth face coverings and disposable masks are designed to be worn over your nose and mouth to help stop the spread of your respiratory droplets and to prevent you from exposure to other people’s respiratory droplets. If everyone wears a mask, it greatly helps reduce the spread of germs – but you must wear it over your face and nose for it to work.
3. Ripped, Dirty or Damaged Mask
Any rips or tears in a mask renders it ineffective. You should also change out your mask if it becomes wet, soiled or shows signs of wear or the elastic gets broken or stretched out. If you’re using a cloth face covering, you should wash it after every use. Just like other materials and pieces of clothing, they can become contaminated by bacteria and viruses in our environment and can cause an infection if they’re worn for a prolonged period of time without being cleaned.
4. Exposed Chin
Leaving your chin exposed can cause viruses to contact the skin on your face and easily get transferred to your eyes, nose or mouth. An exposed chin can also cause germs to spread from your mouth to others around you. Plus, having a mask sit high on your face can be uncomfortable for your eyes and fog up your eyewear. Be sure your mask is fit snugly against your chin for the best performance.
5. Not Wearing A Mask
Masks are most effective when everyone is wearing them. They are not just important for those at high risk for severe complications of COVID-19, such as the elderly or immunocompromised. By wearing a mask you’re doing your part to protect yourself and others against the virus.
Next Steps & Resources:
- To make an appointment with a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
- Clinical Contributor: Doreen McSharry, Director of Infection Prevention at Hackensack Meridian Palisades Medical Center
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
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