DIY Face Masks Dos And Don'ts

A surge in homemade masks prompts a surge in concerns about making and wearing them correctly

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Efforts, big and small, are well underway to hand-make non-medical grade masks for everyday individuals to wear on essential errands.

Along with the growing need to cover up, comes growing concerns about how to do so correctly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cloth face coverings should fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

You should wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, like at the grocery store.

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The CDC said simple cloth face coverings could slow the spread of COVID-19 and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

If making a mask yourself, use the right materials; flannel or a pillowcase are both said to work well.

Do wear a covering at the right times.

“I do see people wearing masks, for example, when they're in the car. That's probably not the best time to wear a mask,” said UNT Health Science Center professor of epidemiology Dr. Diana Cervantes, who added that she sometimes sees joggers wearing masks.

“It could really restrict your breathing and that could be an issue,” she said.

She said it’s important to try not to touch the front of your mask and, if you do, wash your hands as soon as possible.

When taking the mask off, remove it from the back of your head and wash the mask after each use, using hot water and drying it on the highest setting.

Do not, she said, think that the mask replaces staying at home.

"That's not the case. We want to make sure if you're wearing a mask, you're still doing everything else,” Cervantes said.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The CDC offers these tutorials for DIY Masks. NBC 5’s Bianca Castro posted a how-to video on her Facebook page.

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