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Rossen Reports: Here are the must-have masks for kids

You probably have a ton you’ve collected for your kids over the last year — but not all masks are created equal.

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Many schools are back in session, and others are starting up soon.

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No matter what state, city, or school district you’re in, the CDC says kids should be in masks. You probably have a ton you’ve collected for your kids over the last year — but not all masks are created equal. A mask might look good, but it might not be as protective as you think.

Here are a few guidelines parents should follow when picking out masks for kids, from the CDC:

  • Face masks should fit snugly and comfortably. You don’t want gaps on the nose or the cheeks.

    Tip: Masks that have a metal piece inside are a perfect way to make sure the gap on the bridge of the nose is closed.

    • Masks must be secured with ties or ear loops.

      Tip: Gaiters and bandanas are not ideal. Look for masks that have adjustable ear loops to guarantee a good fit.

      • They should have multiple layers.

        Tip: The packaging on the masks will tell you if it has multiple layers. For cloth masks, you should have at least two layers.

        Test it: Stretch your mask and hold it to the sun. If you can see little holes or specks of light, that mask is not protective.

        • You should be able to breathe without restriction while wearing it.

          Tip: Vinyl makes it hard to breathe, so avoid masks of that material.

          • You should be able to wash face masks without causing damage or losing the mask’s shape.

            Tip: If the mask rips or loses its shape, it’s not protective anymore. Reusable masks should be washed whenever it gets dirty or at least daily. Masks made for kids are now coming with mesh bags that you can put in the washer.

            Below are masks recommended by medical experts. Click on the links to purchase.

            Crayola has partnered with the SchoolMaskPack, releasing a collection of reusable cloth masks for kids to wear in the classroom. They are color-coded for each day of the week and come in a washable bag to help keep the shape. The masks have adjustable earloops and a metal piece on the nose for a snug fit.

            These masks also have adjustable ear straps to offer a snug fit and a nose clip makes sure it stays in place. It includes a mesh laundry bag to throw in the washer to keep the masks’ shapes.

            These cloth masks have multiple layers of fabric with the inside layer being cotton for more comfort. The masks also come with a pocket to add a filter if you desire to do so. The ear straps are elastic and there’s a metal piece inside to make the fit on the bridge of the nose more snug.

            Putting an adult disposable mask on a kid won’t offer up protection for them. These disposable masks are for kids ages 2 to 5 years old. The masks have three layers and a metal piece inside to bend the nose clip for a better fit. The patterns on them are cute, too, which helps!

            These disposable masks are for kids ages 6 to 12 years old. The masks have three layers and a metal piece inside to bend the nose clip for a better fit. The patterns on them are cute, too, which helps!

            Here’s another great tip from Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Rajeev Fernando. He says, the best and most protective mask you can give your kids is the one that they’ll keep on all day. "Give your kids options. Make sure the masks they’re choosing from meet all of the criteria, but at the end of the day, they’ll wear whatever is comfortable and whatever is stylish to them. So keep that in mind when you’re buying these masks." Dr. Fernando says. He also had a great idea to tell your kids their mask is a part of their costume for the day. They’ll think of it as a fun accessory rather than something they "have to wear."

            Click here to read more about the CDC guidelines and for more helpful tips.