Health expert offers advice to Manitoba parents on masks in schools

By | August 22, 2020

WINNIPEG — As of September masks will be part of the dress code for most Manitoba students. 

The province is making them mandatory for students in Grade 4 to 12. 

With parents across the province adding masks to their back to school shopping lists, questions are piling up about how to use them properly. 

“I guess we’re going to have to wash them every day. So I guess we’re going to have quite the stockpile,’ said mother Marnie McClaren on Friday.

Her children will be wearing face coverings in the fall. “It’s just going to be a ‘take it one day at a time’ kind of idea,” said McClaren. “So I’m not anxious about it.”

Epidemiologist Cynthia Carr has some advice for parents like McClaren who are preparing for a school year like no other. 

“You want to make sure it goes over (their) mouth, (their) chin, (their) nose,” said Carr. 

She recommends cloth masks over disposable ones because they “can adhere a little bit better to the actual shape of your face.”

When choosing a face covering, she said parents should avoid “anything that ties because of course there could be a choking hazard.”

She suggests kids have three masks with them at all times in case one gets wet or dirty. 

Carr also said students should pack hand sanitizes, and plastic resealable bags to carry the masks. “A little thing of hand sanitizer as a reminder to put that on before you put the mask on and off.”

Carr acknowledges it may difficult for kids to get used to covering their faces all day, but said letting kids pick out their own masks, as well as getting to wear them at home to practice may help.

 

 

 

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