With the war in Ukraine raging for more than 18 months, the coronavirus has faded into the back of many people's minds. But it's still there and the number of corona infections is rising again. Also in schools and daycare centers, where special corona rules no longer apply. Protecting the vulnerable group of daycare children and primary school students is one of many challenges that politics and society have to face as we head into winter. Numerous studies have shown that correctly worn mouth and nose coverings are, along with vaccination, one of the most important measures to protect yourself and others from infection or at least minimize the risk of infection. This applies to adults and children alike. But while FFP masks for adults are available in abundance and almost everywhere, the selection for small faces is rather limited.
Putting a normal-sized FFP2 mask on daycare children and ABC shooters doesn't just look silly. It is uncomfortable and does not protect the child or those around them. But what should you pay attention to if the junior is to be equipped with an FFP2 mask instead of a surgical mask in the future? First of all, you should pay attention to the so-called CE mark, because only these products are approved in the European Union. “The masks must regularly meet the requirements of the DIN EN 149:2009-08 standard,” says the website of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices.
You can usually tell whether the masks are specifically tailored to small faces by looking at the information on the packaging. Look for information such as “Comfort S”, “Size Small”, “Mini” or “Mini XS”. According to a test of FFP2 masks for children (December 2021), Stiftung Warentest also recommends a mask from 3M, which was actually developed for adults. Compared to others, the 3M Aura 9320 model offers breathing comfort that is okay for children, according to the testers. In addition, the filter effect is high and the fit is suitable for children. For long-term use at school, Stiftung Warentest generally recommends slightly more comfortable surgical masks. In places where there is an increased risk of infection in a short period of time, such as on public transport, the 3M model serves its purpose, Stiftung Warentest continues.
Instead of the standard white mask, some manufacturers rely on patterns and child-friendly designs for mouth and nose protection for children. Some also offer their FFP2 masks in alternative colors. Here too, the CE marking is of course mandatory. The two most important differences between masks for adults and those for children are the size of the filter and the length of the elastic bands. In size S, the mini masks are also recommended for men and women with small faces.
Source: Stiftung Warentest
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Note: This article was first published in January 2020.