How to choose a mask that is suitable for children?
WHO data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing a high level of pollutants. Air pollution estimated kills 7 million people worldwide per year. In cities with heavy air pollution, most people will need to carry a mask with them, or keeping it at home for times of emergency. That doesn’t exclude children, in fact, they need them more than adults do to protect their bodies and organs because they are still growing. So, what’s the issue here? It isn’t hard to find a pharmacy that sells masks, they’re almost everywhere, but the question is, will they fit your children?
How we wish that it was as easy as heading down to the pharmacy, purchase the mask and letting our children wear it. In reality, it’s tougher than that, buying a mask isn’t tough, but getting one that will really fit and protect your child is the main issue here.
Here are some simple guidelines that will explain what makes a good mask and how do you tell if the mask will fit your child!
To get good protection is to have a good filter with a good face seal. You have to make sure that the air your child breathing were only able to enter through the filters and not through any gaps under the mask. Effective protection only happen when the mask forms a good seal on the user’s face.
Surgical masks and the well known 3M N95 masks are commonly seen worn by the public these days, however, most of them do not know that these masks are not protecting them. We’ll explain why :
To begin with, commonly seen surgical masks were not designed to protect the users from air pollution, they were only made to prevent direct contact with sick patients. These masks do a great job at preventing viruses from spreading, but it doesn’t protect you from air pollution. The gaps between the mask and the user’s face are too big to protect the user, letting pollutants enter easily.
Alas, the very well known N95 Mask by 3M and other major manufacturers. These masks are proper air pollution masks, they do a great job with filtering out pollutants and particles, that only applies if the mask forms a good seal on the user’s face. The mask only comes in adult size, which usually only fits a grown adult’s face, a child’s face will almost never be able to have a good fit with such mask. Another issue is that there’s no way to check whether it’s providing a good face seal, unless with professional equipment which are costly and usually only owned by trained professionals. Simply holding onto the mask while blowing into a mask is a very inaccurate and unreliable way to check on the face seal for leaks, this technique that is recommended by manufactures is too ambiguous.
Hygiene is another issue, consumers often reuse these disposable N95 masks. The germs and bacteria accumulated on the mask after each use can be a threat to health. A disposable mask can’t be washed and are tough to dry if wet.
Why is Totobobo Mask better than the rest?
Firstly let’s take a look on the background and history of the company.
Francis Chu, the inventor of Totobobo Mask, faced the same problem that most parents face when looking for a respirator for their children. He was then aware of the difficulties and decided to come up with a solution for others and himself. Being a product designer in the past, he experimented with many different prototypes before coming up with an ergonomic design that fits most users and more importantly, customizable while being children friendly. Apart from a good seal and filtering, the comfort, ease to clean, portability and other factors are also important points to take note of, before the product is considered “Child Friendly”.
Why Totobobo Masks are superior?
Easy seal check
Unlike many other respirators out there that are made with opaque materials, Totobobo masks are made with a transparent material. With a transparent mask, the user can easily check the seal it provides with a bit of water. Here’s how: https://totobobo.com/blog/2015/11/how-to-perform-a-seal-check-with-the-water-mark-method/
The Totobobo Masks are made of soft plastics, embedded with anti-bacterial silver ion, disallowing the growth of germs and also making it easy to wash and dry for reuse.
Flexible size and shape
Most Respirators come in 3 sizes like S, M, and L. However, it is not easy to decide on which size to get without opening the package and letting your child try the mask. Most shops do not accept returned products as it compromises the hygiene. What Totobobo Mask offers is the flexibility to shape and/or trim the mask down according to the shape and size of the face. We even have a template for you to construct a “dummy mask” for testing before trimming the real mask.