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Editor’s note: As we will report below, experts agree that face masks do not replace or relieve the need to wash your hands and social distance, and they absolutely do not alone prevent the spread of COVID-19. This article will be updated regularly to include new face masks that meet our criteria for inclusion.
While some Americans are still reluctant to wear face masks, parents shopping for face masks face a unique set of circumstances. Helping your child adjust to the new realities of staying and playing at home while you work can be challenging — and convincing them to wear a face mask poses an additional hurdle. We’ve previously written about where to find face masks in general — as well as what to know about face masks from Etsy and other major brands, as well as masks with filters. But if you’re shopping for you and your family, there are special considerations on how to find the proper mask for your child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all kids older than two wear a face mask in public to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
IN THIS ARTICLE How to buy face masks for kids | Retailers offering face masks for kids
“Getting a child-friendly mask probably increases compliance with wearing,” says Anna Davies, a research facilitator who previously worked in the Infectious Diseases department at the University of Cambridge. “Let’s face it, looking like Spiderman is going to be a lot more appealing than a plain mask!” To help guide your search (and help you find something your kid may actually want to wear), we consulted experts on how to find the right face masks for your kids.
Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Want to learn more about face masks in general? We have a comprehensive guide to shopping for them.
Related: Shopping for face masks? We consulted medical experts on how to shop for face masks and rounded up those adhering to the CDC’s guidelines.
How to shop for the best face masks for kids
Children are reportedly at lower risk for the illness, but not immune. Many people who have COVID-19, including kids, don’t show symptoms, so wearing a mask can reduce the possibility that someone who’s asymptomatic might pass on the virus.
Encouraging your kids to wear a face mask outside will encourage other preventative measures, like washing their hands and social distancing, said Stacey Rose, MD, assistant dean at Baylor School of Medicine.
“There are additional considerations for kids, such as ensuring the proper size and fit, and monitoring to make sure the child is not inadvertently touching the mask frequently, which could pose an increased risk for exposure,” she said.
Related: Many ultraviolet (UV) light sanitizing devices are selling out. We found where they’re in stock and consulted germ-expert MDs on how to shop for them.
Otherwise, you should follow the general guidance on face masks: The CDC has outlined five criteria to keep in mind.
Face masks should fit snugly and comfortably
They must be secured with ties or ear loops
They should comprise multiple fabric layers
You should be able to breathe without restriction while wearing the face mask
You should be able to wash the face masks without causing damage or losing the face mask’s shape
The same guidelines for adult masks adhere to kids: Masks should have two layers of breathable fabric and fit snugly to their face. Face masks for kids should also be easy to remove and your child should be able to breathe unhindered, said Davies, who added a child-specific precaution.
“There’s a need for supervision when wearing, particularly for younger children, since looping anything around the head and neck is potentially a strangulation risk,” she said.
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Popular retailers offering face masks for kids
Below is our list of kid’s masks that have both a comfortable fit and kid-friendly design — style matters, after all. We’ve only included those masks whose listed features adhere to the CDC’s recommended criteria and the expert guidance above.
1. Athleta Girls Non Medical Face Masks
Athleta’s Girls masks come in packs of five different colors and designs, and are a slightly smaller size than their regular Women’s face masks. Masks are made out of two layers of polyester and spandex with a cotton liner. The athleisure brand is also donating 100,000 non-medical masks to Mayo Clinic.
Athleta Girls Non Medical Face Masks – 5 pack
Athleta Girls Non Medical Face Masks – 5 pack $30.00 at Athleta
2. Disney Cloth Face Masks (pre-order)
Disney is selling packs of four masks, available for pre-order. These washable cloth masks come in dozens of designs, including Star Wars characters, Disney Princesses and Marvel characters. The company is also donating one million face masks to families in vulnerable areas across the country, and has donated an additional $1 million in profits to MedShare, a nonprofit supporting healthcare workers.
Disney Cloth Face Masks – 4 pack
Disney Cloth Face Masks – 4 pack $19.99 at Disney
3. Etsy Children Face Mask
The online retail marketplace has rounded up those making kid’s face masks, with quality options and fast shipping. They are also prohibiting sellers from making medical claims, selling mass-produced masks or price-gouging. Since the marketplace includes multiple sellers, keep an eye out for masks that follow the CDC’s guidelines we shared above.
Etsy Children Face Mask
Etsy Children Face Mask $8.99 at Etsy
Related: Online marketplace Etsy includes a wide range of face masks that are handmade in many styles and colors. Here’s what to know before buying one.
4. Gap Kids Face Mask
These masks, available on backorder, come in different prints, including polka dots and plaid. Masks come in packs of three and are made of 100-percent cotton. Gap has also pledged to donate 50,000 reusable masks to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Gap Kids Face Mask – 3 pack
Gap Kids Face Mask – 3 pack $15.00 at Gap
5. Maisonette Cotton Face Mask
The luxury children’s retailer is selling colorful face masks with simple designs and colors. Masks come in three sizes, corresponding with your child’s age: two to four years, six to eight years and 10 to 14 years. Masks are 100-cotton with soft elastic around the ears. For every mask sold, Maisonette will donate to Baby2Baby, a nonprofit providing basic necessities to needy children during the pandemic.
Maisonette Cotton Face Mask
Maisonette Cotton Face Mask $16.00 at Maisonette
6. Nordstrom Cotton Face Mask
The retailer is selling six-packs of black or white kids masks, meant for children ages five to 10. Masks are made from tightly-knit cotton and are washable. Nordstrom has additionally made and donated more than 100,000 masks to distribute to Providence Health & Services.
Nordstrom Cotton Face Mask – 6 pack
Nordstrom Cotton Face Mask – 6 pack $22.00 at Nordstrom
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7. Onzie Mindful Mask For Kids
The company is creating non-medical, reusable face masks for kids using up-cycled fabrics from their yoga clothing. Masks are made for children ages five to 10 years. Onzie has additionally donated thousands of masks to local hospitals in Los Angeles and will donate proceeds from every purchase to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. They are also a member of LA Protects.
Onzie Mindful Mask For Kids – 2 pack
Onzie Mindful Mask For Kids – 2 pack $20.00 at Onzie
8. Sanctuary Kids PPE Mask
These stylish masks come in an assorted five-pack, scaled to fit ages two to 10. Each pack comes with two dinosaur-print masks, two camo-print masks and one leopard-print mask. Masks are made of 100-cotton with a double inner layer that supports an insertable filter.
Sanctuary Kids PPE Mask – 5 pack
Sanctuary Kids PPE Mask – 5 pack $25.00 at Sanctuary
9. Uncommon Goods Children’s Face Covering
The online marketplace is selling machine-washable, kid-friendly face masks in packs of two, made from two layers of cotton. Each mask sports a rainbow design created by a dozen kids around the world. Each mask with a label sporting a positive message, like “keep smiling.” Masks are intended for kids aged four to 10. The brand says 100 percent of profits from face mask sales go to NYC Health + Hospitals.
Uncommon Goods Children’s Face Covering – 2 pack
Uncommon Goods Children’s Face Covering – 2 pack $25.00 at Uncommon Goods
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10. Vida Protective Mask
Each protective mask is made of two layers of 100-percent cotton, with adjustable straps and a multi-layer filter. Children’s masks are sold individually or in a multi-pack, and are made for those 5 and up. In addition, the company has pledged to donate 10 percent of profits from the sale to SF-Marin Food Bank and Food Bank NYC.
Vida Protective Mask
Vida Protective Mask $10.00 at VIDA
11. Vistaprint Mask
The printing company has created their own reusable masks that allow for a filter to be inserted. The masks come in many designs — including dinosaurs, planets and hearts — and have four filtration layers: a textile exterior, replaceable fiber filter, a cloth layer and a 100-percent cotton inner layer.
Vistaprint Mask $13.00 at Vistaprint
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