Masks and protection, instructions for use

Masks and protection, instructions for use

Surgical, cloth, FFP2 masks: which ones to choose and how to wear them correctly to protect yourself from the virus

We wear masks. Thanks to these simple protection tools, the chances of transmitting the Sars-CoV-2 virus, responsible for Covid-19, are reduced. But let's do it right. Because protecting oneself and especially others from possible contagion is fundamental. How to behave? Here are some simple instructions to keep in mind.

What to ask the "mask"

The classic surgical or community masks, which we use every day even if they are not indicated for medical use when we move or even at home and at school, can be really useful to curb the spread of the infection, obviously also combined with spacing and regular hand hygiene.

Confirmation comes from research published in Nature Communications and conducted by experts from Harvard University and Tsing Hua National University in Taiwan. If everyone is convinced to use the mask, however, there is a reduction in infections and deaths.

Along with distancing (the two strategies must always be integrated), the use of the mask can also reduce the viral load, or the amount of viruses that, perhaps in a completely unconscious way, can be transmitted to others. For this reason, the use of masks must become a habit, remembering that this protection helps those who live around us and works as a barrier to the virus.

In short: but how should the mask be made and how to wear it well? It is essential that there are characteristics of porosity of the fabric that allow to obtain a valid protection and that they are not used for too long, especially in the case of "paper" products.

Surgical ones, in particular, should be changed regularly. If they remain on the mouth and nose for several hours, they can become moist, reaching the point of "facilitating" the possible overcoming of the barrier by a specific viral strain because a dry physical barrier preserves better than a wet one. So we always keep in mind that the mask should not be worn at the elbow or placed on a table to be then eliminated with unsorted waste.

When using devices that can be washed, such as community masks, the washing instructions should also be followed according to the fabric. The situation changes when you enter the world of "professional" masks such as FFP2, which are more protective but also in this case must be changed regularly.

Cover your mouth and nose well

Whatever the mask we use in everyday life, in any case, in order for it to work at its best and to carry out its activity, it is essential that it is worn correctly. In order for the masks to be really effective they must be very adherent to the face and therefore must follow the line of the nose by adjusting the small metal bar to your face and with the ends that must adhere to the face, consistently pulling the lateral elastic bands placed behind the ears. .

It is important, as the Istituto Superiore di Sanità points out in its instructions, that the material is neither toxic nor allergenic, nor flammable and above all that it allows you to breathe well. This is asked of the classic community masks, which aim to limit the circulation of the virus and, as mentioned, are different from those intended for operators.

Some advice for children should also be remembered, as normal "measures" for adults cannot be equally effective in children. For this reason, it is advisable to keep in mind the indications of the American Academy of Pediatrics which report how children from two years onwards can use masks but it must be remembered that the dimensions must be different.

Then, with growth, you can focus on the classic surgical masks, always remembering that the baby's head has not yet added the dimensions of that of an adult. Particular attention should be paid, in preventive terms, to children suffering from chronic diseases. For them, always according to the indications, FFP2 can be indicated. For adults, advice on the action to be taken in case of specific concomitant pathologies must always be given by a health professional.

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