By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Folders, pencils, and face masks – back to school shopping lists look different this fall. For those that are headed back to the classroom, we wondered about the best face coverings for kids.

WCCO spoke to a pediatrician about how to get kids used to the change and what offers the most protection.

As a nurse and a mother, Hilda Mauya has opted to keep her 7-year-old home this fall.

“I’m just not comfortable taking her back to school yet because we have so much unknown,” Mauya said.

Camille has asthma and the requirement to wear a face mask at school isn’t enough to ease her mom’s mind.

“I can’t guarantee that she’s not going to be a kid and that alone is making me scared,” Mauya said.

When her daughter does go out to a store or any kind of crowd, Mauya puts her in a 3-ply mask, similar to a surgical mask. Camille only wears a cloth face covering on walks or areas where she has more space.

Dr. Abe Jacob is a pediatrician at M Health Fairview.

“As a general principal the more layers in a mask the better,” Jacob said.

He tells parents to practice every day with their kids right now, so they’re ready to be masked in school.

“You just want to be sure it covers the tip of your nose and it covers the tip of your chin and then doesn’t have large openings on the side or on the top,” Jacob added.

Jacob isn’t a fan of neck gaiters for young children. He believes they’re too tempting to touch and won’t stay secured.

“You can imagine a kid with a runny nose flipping that thing up and down,” Jacob said.

He also says a filter is fine. But that comfort must play a role.

“It’s kind of that fine balance,” Jacob said.

One good test that doctors suggest you try with your kids, have them wear their mask and blow out a candle. If they can’t, that means the mask is doing a good job preventing the air from their mouth from getting out.

Liz Collin

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