Face Shields Good Alternative to Masks

If you have ventured out lately for a dentist or doctor’s appointment, or perhaps a pedicure, you may have noticed some significant changes in safety protocol including plexiglass barriers and the use of face shields which not only protect the nose and mouth but also the eyes from the Novel Coronavirus. 

The wearing of masks is problematic potentially spreading viral particles if not done correctly, washed frequently, and removed and stored safely.  It’s common to see people wearing masks below their nose, pulling them down to talk or drink and adjusting them requiring touching the face more frequently with unclean hands.  Clear plastic face shields solve a number of these problems and researchers believe they are a better form of protection from COVID-19.  

Face shields are easy to clean, inexpensive, reusable, and difficult to wear incorrectly.  They also allow people who are hard of hearing to communicate better by reading lips or facial expressions.  For those who struggle to breathe under a mask, a shield is a good option.  While health professionals and essential workers should have priority access to personal protective equipment, many manufacturers that have been making and donating face shields for essential employees for the past several months will begin selling to the public soon. 

Amazon’s Prime Air team has already donated more than 10,000 face shields to frontline medical workers and plans are underway to sell the shields at cost through the Amazon website.  At present, shields range in price from about $15 to $35 but the Amazon-branded face shields should be priced between $5 and $12.  Apple, Nike, GM, and John Deere have also started producing face shields for front line workers.

For your best protection, face shields should extend below the chin and from ear to ear with no exposed gaps between the forehead and the headpiece.  They can be fashioned using materials from office supply and craft stores.   Visit the Michaels website for instructions and supplies to make your own face shield or face mask.  

Learn more about face shield use in the community to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following this link to a recent Viewpoint article in the Journal of the American Medical Association