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These are some of the best face masks for kids

If you're shopping for a child mask, a standard cloth mask won't do.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Our kids are officially back to school, but what can we do if we want to make sure they continue in person?

An infectious disease specialist put together a list of what masks work for kids, and which ones won’t cut it.

"It came from my kids starting daycare again, after a year and a half of being completely at home," said Eva Enns, Associate Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management. "And the realization that, with the delta variant, things needed to be different."

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Enns says, if you're shopping for a child mask, a standard cloth mask won't do. 

"Originally, masks came out and we heard it protects others from you. These masks are designed to protect you as well," Enns said. "They're designed to filter out those small particulates that you'd be concerned about, and so if you're the only one masking, yeah, you'd want the most effective mask."

Enns tip sheet lists reputable sites that sell several kid-sized masks that have been tested and rated. Finding the most popular, and colorful, reusable masks can be hard, as they sell out fast.

"The ones I have here are the disposable options. And these are KF94s, which are similar to N95s but are certified and manufactured in Korea," Enns  said. 

When it comes to disposable masks, Enns said don't throw them away after one use. 

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"You can reuse them a few times, letting them sit in between, letting them dry out," Enns said. 

If you're wondering if your child will keep their mask on all day, Enns says, unlike a cloth mask, most of these have a 3D shape that stays away from the mouth and they can and should be adjusted to fit well around the ears and face.

"One thing I've done for my son... I color-coded the nose strip so he knew the colored part goes on top," Enns said. 

"He has been rocking them. He's been doing great and he keeps them on and he doesn't seem bothered by it. I think kids, they adapt pretty quickly to something on their face," she said. 

If your child is still having issues with the mask, Enns said just remember, even a cloth mask is better than no mask at all.

"The mask that fits well and they are able to tolerate is going to be your first priority. If they will tolerate this mask, then this is the mask that can offer a lot of protection," she said. 

Contact Sarah French at Sarah@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

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