The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPEs) is impacting healthcare workers in numerous ways. While companies have increased their production of this necessary medical equipment, there is a serious shortage that is negatively impacting patients and the healthcare workers serving them. The FDA recommends conservation strategies at healthcare organizations to conserve these precious resources.
But what about Americans in their homes? Does your family have enough masks to protect them for the next 30-days, or whatever is necessary? Here’s how to create cloth face masks for you and your family.
Creating PPEs for Your Family
The CDC has rules governing how PPEs should be worn to protect you and your family. Cloth mask should:
- Be worn so they fit easily against the side of the face.
- Be secured with ear loops or ties.
- Include multiple layers of fabric.
- Allow for breathing without restriction.
- Be able to be laundered without damage.
Cloth masks should be worn in any public setting where social distancing is in place. For example, the grocery store or pharmacy, or other retail location are important places to wear these masks.
Surgical masks are usually made of pleated paper. They’re usually worn by doctors or surgeons to prevent contamination of a surgical area. N95 respirators are another type of mask that should be fitted to the wearer to be effective. These masks are specifically designed for the healthcare worker that frequently deals with ill or infected people. The N95 mask has been proven to block exposure to diseases like measles, tuberculosis—and COVID-19. Medical professionals are trained in the proper use of these important tools.
Here’s how to create your own PPEs, according to the CDC:
The easiest method is the no-sew method. You will need just three items: A bandana, rubber bands, and scissors. You can fold the bandana in half and place rubber bands about six inches apart in the middle of the cloth. Then folk the cloth to create a mask that fits over your nose and mouth. Click here to see the tutorial.
You can also use an old t-shirt to create a face covering. Cut seven or eight inches off the bottom of the t-shirt and use rubber bands to create the ear loops. It’s a good idea to use 100% cotton garments or a tightly woven cotton/poly blend. These materials can be washed on high heat or even sterilized in common equipment that hospitals, medical practices, and even dentists have.
Crafters are making a go of creating masks as well. You can find a cloth pattern to sew a good pattern on Instructables.com. YouTube has a step-by-step video instruction that walks you through how to make a mask. AARP suggests common materials for mask making, including:
- Cotton fabric
- A needle and thread or a sewing machine
- Sharp scissors
- Shoelaces for the ties
ABCNews reports that masks protect the wearer in two ways: By preventing particles from exiting your nose or mouth, but also by blocking particles from other people. The CDC currently recommends that Americans outside their home should wear a covering or ask over their face and nose.
PrideStaff hopes these instructions can help your family stay safer. Contact us if you are looking for employment or if your organization is seeking workers. We can help.