As sports programs reopen, there is some debate about whether athletes need to wear masks while practicing or playing their sport to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although mask use is impossible during some activities, like swimming or diving, the CDC recommends wearing face coverings for all other sports that involve any amount of close contact or take place indoors. If you or your child plays a sport, the following information can help you understand the benefits of wearing a mask both on the field and off.
Types Of Masks
You can browse around here to see a variety of face masks that are appropriate for both kids and adults. The two main types of masks are reusable, which require washing, and disposable, which are for one-time use only. Look for high-quality masks constructed with multiple layers of material to get the most protection. Bear in mind that, unless a mask is labeled N95, it is not medical grade, meaning that it won’t protect you if you have prolonged exposure to someone who is symptomatic. However, athletes do not need that level of protection on the playing field.
How To Get A Proper Fit
For a mask to be effective, it needs to fit close to your face. Avoid masks that allow any air to escape around your nose or at the sides. To get the best fit, choose the proper size, and opt for masks with adjustable earloops, like the masks at String King. Make sure to tighten the loops so that there are no gaps around the sides. If your mask doesn’t have adjustable loops, you can twist them or knot them close to the sides of the mask to create a better fit.
When To Use Face Coverings
Athletes should wear face masks indoors at all times and any time they are not able to maintain six feet of distance from others, according to realtimecampaign.com. People are about twenty times more likely to become infected indoors than outdoors. However, the CDC is now recommending mask use outdoors because there are still many cases of outdoor transmission during interactions between people who are less than six feet apart. Thus, athletes should wear face coverings in the gym, in the locker room, in conversations with teammates, and even on the playing field.
A common myth about wearing masks is that they are dangerous because they reduce oxygen intake or cause people to inhale toxic carbon dioxide. However, there is plenty of research showing that masks are safe for the majority of wearers. Face masks don’t restrict oxygen or contribute to carbon dioxide buildup because oxygen and CO2 particles are small enough to pass through cloth and other materials used in face coverings. Consider the fact that medical personnel wear masks for an entire work shift and have no complications.
By wearing a face mask, athletes can protect themselves and their teammates from spreading the virus and getting sick. Make sure to wash masks in hot water, and never reuse a mask before washing it. Other safety measures include washing equipment after every use and maintaining six feet of distance whenever possible.