Lanyards for Face Masks Are Actually a Good Idea, According to a Doctor

Face masks have become the latest must-have accessory. While there are critics of wearing face coverings, the vast majority of people have accepted this as a simple way to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Many places now require visitors to wear a face mask while indoors, but it’s also a good idea to keep one to hand while you’re out and about. Walking around a crowded area like a shopping mall or heading to the bathroom in a restaurant might leave you feeling exposed.

One doctor has suggested an excellent way to keep your face mask to hand at all times. By placing your face mask on a lanyard, you can keep your hands free for other things. Your mask will always be close by so you can slip it on at a moment’s notice.

Why use a lanyard for your face mask?

Face masks are only effective if you wear them correctly. When you wear a face mask, the outer part can become moist and attract virus particles. This is why limiting contact with the main part of your mask is so essential.

By using a lanyard, you keep your mask close by but you only have to touch the straps. The lanyard will also keep your mask facing the same way, so there’s no risk that you switch sides and place the outer layer directly on your face.

Why is this better than the alternative?

In situations where you need to put on and remove your face mask repeatedly, you have a choice to make. You can either put your mask in your pocket, leave it hanging from an ear, slip it down to your chin, or place it in your bag.

It’s generally recommended that you should limit contact with your face mask when you aren’t wearing it. This means it should either be doing its job and protecting your mouth and nose, or it should be away from your skin. 

Pushing it down to your chin could lead it to fold over, spreading the virus particles to the inner layer. When you put it back on your face, you’re spreading the virus particles directly into your mouth and nose. This is counterintuitive of the mask’s aim https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.htmls.

Putting it in your pocket doesn’t fare much better. This will require you to touch the main part of the mask, folding the fabric against each other, and creating a situation where there is no longer an inside or an outside portion. When you return it to your face, you have to touch it again.

How to use a lanyard for your face mask

A lanyard is a fabric or rope neck loop which is often used to hold identity cards or access passes. You might get a lanyard at an event or conference so security can easily identify who should be there and who shouldn’t.

A lanyard for your face mask works in a similar way, but instead of creating a closed-loop, it is open and has two attachments. You attach a clip to each ear loop of your face mask and then wear it around your neck. Like a lanyard for your glasses, you’ll then have easy access to your face mask when you need it most.

This is great for when you’re out shopping and visiting multiple stores. Getting a bit of fresh air between stores is made a lot easier when you can simply drop your face mask in front of you and avoid touching the main portion. A face mask lanyard is also ideal for hiking so you can wear it while passing other groups of people.

How to choose a face mask lanyard

You can buy face mask lanyards online. Just like your face masks, you’ll probably want a few lanyards so you’re never stuck without one to hand. Look for something lightweight and made from thin but durable fabric.

As it will be holding your face mask, something that is machine washable would also be ideal. This will allow you to put the entire face mask and lanyard in the washing machine when you get home and avoid contaminating your home.

There are plenty of bright and colourful designs available, so you could coordinate with your face mask and create something that fits with your personality. Wearing face masks might be an odd development in modern life, so you may as well find a way to have fun with it. 

To double down on protection, a second lanyard could be used to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer. This will ensure you always have a hand gel to hand and won’t have to rummage around in your bag to find one. This will offer added protection when you have to put on or remove your face mask, as antibacterial gel creates a protective layer on your hands.

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