Cotton protective mask - When and how is it indicated to be used?

The most recent recommendations of international bodies discuss the importance of wearing a protective mask. However, the low stocks of medical or surgical masks led to the need to create protective cotton masks, much more accessible for each of us.

Why is it advisable to wear a protective mask in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Specialists recommend us to protect ourselves by using masks, but also by applying social distancing rules or special hygiene measures. What we need to know first of all is that there is a small difference between medical or surgical masks and protective cotton masks. Cotton masks are made, as the name says, from 100% cotton, in a variable number of layers, but which have the main role of preventing the transmission of infection from the wearer to the community. In the case of medical or surgical masks, however, we are talking about the prevention of illness for medical personnel, by the fact that these masks are made of materials that filter the air that the wearer inhales.

Cotton protective masks are indicated to be used to limit the spread of infection in the community, considering the fact that the infection with COVID-19 often remains asymptomatic. Specialists recommend us to wear this type of mask in public, when we are in the vicinity of other people, to reduce the risk of contaminating those around us, but also to protect our nose and mouth from possible particles that may come from environment.

Who is recommended to wear protective cotton masks?

Regardless of the age group we belong to, it is advisable to use protective cotton masks when we go out in public. Cotton masks have the advantage that they can be properly disinfected and sanitized and can be reused for a long time, if certain specific aspects are known regarding their application, removal or hygiene. However, there are certain special groups that should benefit from protection and this category includes the elderly, pregnant women and children.

In the case of pregnant women and children, it is important to use these protective measures, but also to limit public exposure as much as possible. Even if children seem to be relatively little affected by the infection with COVID 19, it is better to institute prophylactic measures and protect them as much as possible. If there is an absolute need for a child to go out in public, specialists recommend the use of protective cotton masks, but only under the strict supervision of an adult.

What do we need to know when it comes to protective masks?

In order to properly protect the wearer, protective masks must meet certain criteria, namely:

  • to apply correctly to the face, i.e. to properly protect the mouth and nose
  • they must be provided with side or elastic bands that allow application at the level of the ears and the correct fit at the level of the face
  • they must be made of several layers

The masks available in the baby's room are provided with three layers of material on the outside, namely two layers of 100% cotton fabric and non-woven fabric on the inside.

  • it must allow proper breathing
  • to be comfortable to wear, but also to be properly sanitized

What do you need to know before using cotton protective masks?

Before applying the mask, it is recommended to properly sanitize our hands, either with an alcohol-based disinfectant, or with soap and water if available. The mask is applied to the face so that it fits as well as possible and does not require subsequent positioning or frequent touching of the face when we are in public.

If we have used the mask too many times, we can throw it away or sanitize it and reuse it (if it is made of cotton). The removal of a mask is done correctly from the level of the elastics with which it is provided in the side areas, taking care not to touch the face.

How can we sanitize protective cotton masks?

Cotton protective masks can be disinfected with disinfectant sprays or using water and universal detergent, in the washing machine at 60 degrees. After the masks have been washed, they are left to dry, and then they are ironed at high temperatures. Until the next use, the manufacturers recommend us to keep this sanitized mask in polyethylene packaging.