As we all begin to realise that face masks are now set to become part of our ‘new’ normal, it may well be time to invest in a few (if you haven’t had to need up until now). And while it’s easy for us to understand this new rule (* Update: The government has said that face masks are compulsory in all shops in England from July 24 2020), getting kids to wear them and keep them on is a whole different story.
Following the government announcement that some form of face covering is now mandatory on public transport and in hospitals for everyone – including children over the age of 2* where social distancing is difficult to maintain, this topic is going to affect the vast majority of us. Wearing a face mask or covering (does) and is going to feel strange for everyone at first and could possibly be a little daunting to most young children. We’ve rounded up a selection of the best reusable and washable face masks from some of our favourite fashion brands and some great tips for broaching the subject of masks and making them easier to wear…
How to get kids to wear a Face Mask
Wear at Home: Our top tip for getting children used to wearing a face mask is to get them to wear one at home before they actually wear one outside. Maybe the whole family could wear one to play a game or watch a short TV show?
Lead by Example: If you are wearing your face mask children are more likely to follow suit. You could even put masks on their favourite teddy or doll to make it feel more ‘normal’ to them.
Practice makes Perfect. Let them put the mask on for themselves to allow them get comfortable with the process. If you can help children feel relaxed, it will be less of a challenge to get them to wear the mask and keep it on.
Be Honest: Talk about why we have to wear them in language they understand. They have already been exposed to the hand washing rules, so just explain that the masks prevent germs spreading further. For younger children, simply explaining that coughing and sneezing can spread germs that could make you sick may be explanation enough.
Share: Take a photo and share it on their class Facebook or WhatApp group – if they can see their friends and other children wearing masks it may not seem so daunting.
Choose with Care: Not all masks are the same. Make sure to check the recommended age range or size specifications. Some face masks come in multiple sizes, some are adjustable, and others are one-size-fits-all.
Make it Comfortable: If the over-the-ear loops are causing an issue try ear extenders. They basically go around the back of the head with hooks to attach the face mask’s straps taking the pressure off the ears. Useful for glasses wearers also.
Make it Fun: Whether that’s picking a print with a kid-friendly design, a character your child loves or even buying a plain one to decorate with iron on patches (Meri Meri has a great selection) .
Have a Spare: As with kids underwear, it might be useful to have a spare mask for when one is in the wash. Although, many masks are reusable some are only washable up to 30 times.
Best Face Masks for Stylish Kids
In MORI’s beautiful signature fabrics and prints using the brand’s unique blend of sustainable bamboo (70%) and organic cotton (30%) these soft reusable face masks (for adults and kids) are of the highest quality and come in one size for little ones ages 2 years and up, from £8.50 each or from £22.50 for a 3-pack, from BabyMori
These stylish 100% Washable Cotton masks have been made using iconic Rachel Riley fabrics to the highest standard. What’s more, 10% of profits of face masks sales will be donated to Best Beginnings , £19 Rachel Riley
Washable (up to 30 times) these reusable, 100% cotton barrier masks have been developed in partnership with a local French textile manufacturer for Smallable and for each 3-pack of masks sold 3€ will be donated to charity, £14 Smallable
MIMI & LULA
Reusable, washable face masks that are engineered to fit snuggly to a child’s face as well as coming in a fun selection of colours and prints for both adults and children – meaning you can twin with your child. Also, £1 from every sale will go to Family Action’s COVID-19 urgent appeal, helping the UK’s most vulnerable families, from £8 Mimi & Lula
OLIVER BABY & KIDS
Vintage style children label Oliver Baby has produced a collection of beautiful 100% cotton Liberty print face masks fo kids. Made with a double layer of fabric and a pocket inside for a replaceable filter and for each face mask sold they are donating a percentage of our profits to the NHS Charities Together, from £12 ( available in three sizes: small ( 6/7 years), medium (to fit large child/small adult) and large (to fit a medium/large adult), Oliver Baby
Featuring all the qualities you would expect from AS – these are hand sewn, using quirky fabrics and are perfectly fitted for kids. The children masks are slightly smaller than the regular masks and are for children aged 7 years and younger. All of them are made with two layers of pure cotton so you can fit a filter between the two layers of fabric if necessary, from £7 Atelier Spatz
TIP: Jo at Atelier Spatz uses leftover fabric stock so they are sometimes only available in limited quantity, so check back frequently as new designs go online all the time.
UK homegrown brand Wild Things offer a fun selection of face mask characters – that children will just love – with optional matching ears head bands available too! Made from 100% cotton, they are fully lined with cotton poplin and machine washable. The masks have ear loop elastic for a unique fit and are suitable for children aged 2 yrs+, from £8 WildThings
Pretty certified organic poplin masks in signature Hoity-Toity fabrics – what’s not to love? Handmade and double lined with 3-layers include a pocket for additional filter layers and channel for optional face shaping wire insert. You can even team them with a matching dress for full fashion effect. £10.00, Hoity-Toity
Scandi brand Gray Label has used the softest 100% organic left-over cotton fabric to produce a small collection of re-usable unisex face masks for kids. What makes these a little different is the strings that mean you easily attach and adjust the mask to your child’s face. Machine washable at 30°C. € 10 available in 3 sizes (3-6y, 7-12, 13+) Gray Label
Gap Family pack of 8 masks (4 adult and 4 children)
These soft, triple-layer, non-medical grade masks are available in a variety of designs for adults and kids, with seamless, stretchy over-the-ear straps and an adjustable wire at the nose for a comfortable and secure fit. Gap Europe have also donated 5,000 masks to The Princes Trust UK, from £12.95 (for 3) and £29.95 for a family 8-pack, GAP
You won’t be able to choose between the Dinoski gang – Cub, Hop, Patch and Pounce – but, adventurous kids will love these animal masks. Made from breathable fabric, with a comfortable fit and snug contour to the face – and, now with adjustable toggles for a tighter fit. One size fits all and they are reusable up to 200 washes (washable up to 60°C) from £12.50 each (£40 for set of 4), Dinoski
Made using the ends of fabric rolls, this means each set of three soft jersey face masks will contain a mix of well-loved Boden prints and colours. £5 from each pack is donated to Helpforce – a charity that helps support NHS staff and patients, £20 Boden
KEEP EM QUIET
Our favourite go-to travel essentials site Keep Em Quiet has a vast selection of adjustable facemarks, hand gels and PPE essentials for any family planning day trips or holidays. We especially like it’s collection of masks – the wide selection of design are all made from 100% cotton with the required 3 layers of protection for filters (which they also sell including charcoal filters which are each good for 7-14 days usage), from £4.99, Keep Em Quiet.
These pack of 3 face coverings from Kindred (the brand created to raise the maximum amount of money for global charities through everyday purchases for the NHS) are 2-layer knitted with antibacterial 5 thread polyamide yarn and ideal for sensitive and delicate skin, from £17.50 for 3 Kindred
* Note: Government guidance
The official guidance outlines that children under two, who cannot put on their own mask, or if they have a respiratory condition, do not have to wear a covering. Also note that it is not mandatory that children under 11 wear a face mask on public transport.