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As the U.S. economy continues to open up, wearing a face mask while out in public is becoming the norm for both children as well as adults. Fortunately, many retailers are now offering child-size face masks in a variety of cute and fun prints.
To find out what parents should look for in a face mask, we reached out to Dr. Kelly Curtin, a board-certified pediatrician who treats patients in her community, works as a medical director for the Department of Human Services and is an advisor to the health site Parenting Pod.
Which Face Masks Are Best For Kids?
According to Curtin, the best face masks for kids are ones that children will actually wear and that fit well. This means that the mask should snugly cover your child’s mouth, nose and chin and allow him or her to breathe easily when wearing it. To find one that your child will want to wear, Curtin suggests enlisting your kid’s help.
“Masks can be scary for children. Involve them in picking one with a favorite color or character to make them more comfortable,” she said.
As far as material goes, Dr. Curtin points out that there hasn’t been conclusive research to determine the most effective material for a face mask. However, she says, “many healthcare providers suspect that a tightly-knit material in two to three layers might provide the best protection.”
Dr. Curtin also reiterates the recommendation of the CDC that children under age 2 and anyone who has trouble breathing should not wear a mask. This also goes for people who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
“If you aren’t sure if a mask is appropriate for your child or you have other questions, call your pediatrician to discuss further,” she added.
With that in mind, here are some of the best face masks for kids on the market now.
LittleMiaBella Kids Face Masks
These double-layer face masks from Etsy seller LittleMiaBella come in a variety of bright, cheerful colors as well as tie-dye options. They are designed to fit kids ages 4 to 10 and also come in an adult size for older kids and parents.
Price: $6 and up
Gap Kids’ Face Masks (3-Pack)
Stock up with this set of three children’s size face masks from Gap. Each mask is made of a triple-layer of soft cotton and has an adjustable wire at the nose to help adjust the fit. Plus, there is a range of colors and prints to choose from, including this plaid orange set.
Price: $15 for three
Cubcoats Face Masks (2-Pack)
For ages 4 years and up, these adorable Cubcoats face masks boast two layers of 100% cotton. They also feature an adjustable metal nose piece for a better fit and an inner pocket where a filter can be added. In addition to the pink and purple set, there is also an orange and gray option available.
Price: $12.99 for two
SewUniqueGifts4U Pro Sports Team Masks
While we all wait for live sports to resume, kids can show off their love for their favorite National Football League or Major League Baseball team with one of these face masks that are made of double-layered 100% cotton. Etsy seller SewUniqueGifts4U recommends measuring your child’s face and selecting the corresponding size. The 5-inch size is best suited for 3 to 5-year-olds and larger sizes for older kids are also available.
Disney’s Cloth Face Masks (4-Pack)
Disney fans will love these face masks from ShopDisney. Sold as a set of four in small, medium, and large sizes, these masks are made of a polyester-cotton blend and feature designs of beloved characters and symbols from the “Star Wars” franchise, favorite Pixar films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney princess movies, and other Disney projects.
Price: $19.99 for four
MaisonSoyenne Kids’ Face Masks
These lightweight children’s face masks from MaisonSoyenne are a bestseller on Etsy. Available in two colors, they are made of a soft cotton blend material and have an inner filter pocket.
Kids Single Use Disposable Masks
If you’d prefer a disposable option, Amazon sells a child-sized pack of 50 disposable face masks. They come in blue or pink, and the listing notes that they’re for kids ages 5-14.
Price: $29.99 for 50
Meakeize Kids Bandana Mask
Available in a wide range of styles and colors, these Meakeize kids face masks are worn like a bandana and are made of 100% microfiber polyester. They’re recommended for kids ages 4 to 12 and, as a bonus, offer UPF 50+ UV protection.
You’ll find plenty of options out there that kids will want to wear, which is what’s most important!