By Rajesh Vohra
November 21, 2021 (IANSlife) Winter is the time to bask in the sun, stroll around the lanes and devour all the great delicacies. While indulging in all these activities, parents should remember that their little ones need more protection during this season. Winter days come with a lot of smog, and when temperatures are really chilly outside. A mask is something that can protect a baby from various environmental hazards and also protect the little nose and mouth from the harsh winds during the winter season.
A mask specially designed for kids: A mask has become a clothing accessory over the last couple of years, and people tend to wear them for longer hours. When buying masks for children, the first thing for parents to understand is that the masks made for adults are not suitable for children. There are masks available on the market which are specifically designed for kids in the age group of 3–6 and for kids in the age group of 7–12 years.
Choose suitable mask material: Always look for a material that is soft enough to not irritate your child's sensitive skin.The ideal mask should have six layers of filtration, and the innermost layer is recommended to be made of soft fabric that is breathable for kids. The ear loops and noseband should be flexible and adjustable in order to fit the child's face properly and provide protection from dust, pollution, and germs.
Breathable factor: The breathable factor of a mask is important for every individual, considering the longer usage span. Children's daily routines are more active when compared to adults; they run, they play, they fight, and they enjoy being outdoors, which increases their breathing level. Thus, it becomes more important for a child to wear masks under which they can breathe properly, encouraging them to wear them for a longer period of time.
Filtration Efficiency: While considering the entire comfort factor, parents must not ignore the filtration capacity of a mask. The pandemic has added to the ongoing pollution hazard, seasonal viruses, dust, pollen, and other harmful particles in the environment, making parents more cautious while selecting the right mask for their babies. It is always important to choose a mask with at least 95 percent filtering efficiency of > 0.3 microns when releasing the child into the outdoors.While you may find many masks on the market mentioning various layers, it's important to check that the mask has layers of melt-blown filters inside to give your child effective protection against germs and pollution.
Colourful masks: The biggest challenge for parents these days is to make sure that their kids are wearing masks all the time. To make this easier, choose a mask with cheerful designs and decorations that the kids can relate to and will encourage them to wear it.
Re-usable masks: Another factor that people consider while choosing a mask is the price. The market has a range of masks that are expensive and can be used only once. The expenses are always on the higher side with a child at home, as a parent always wants the best for their baby. To balance out the budget, it is advisable to choose a re-usable mask that is re-usable at least up to 25 washes without affecting the 95 percent filtration efficiency.
With the spread of smog, parents have become more cautious when it comes to protecting their babies. Every parent knows what is best for their babies, and with a little research and effort, they can never go wrong with their choices.
Rajesh Vohra, CEO, Artsana India (Chicco)
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