When the pandemic struck the whole world, many restrictions and guidelines have been imposed to limit the spread of the virus. These safety measures include physical distancing, thorough hand washing and wearing face. Aside from those measures, the wearing of plastic face shields was also recommended, especially for workers in the service industries.
People over the world started heeding the advice of their government and did their best to get a hold of face masks and face shields. This is being done in hopes of preventing further transmission and spread of the COVID-19.
What is a plastic face shield?
Plastic face shields are used to protect the wearer from different infectious or hazardous microorganisms from splashes and droplets. It is commonly made from polycarbonate and polyester (PET) film. These materials are designed to provide clarity and transparency when worn. It is affordable and can be produced and distributed quickly.
The use of plastic face shields is considered a great strategy to help reduce the transmission of the virus, especially in the community setting. When worn, medical face shields provide a great barrier that helps wearers refrain from touching their faces. In combination with a face mask, it offers good protection from contracting the virus.
When do I use a plastic face shield?
According to different duties, for plastic face shields to be effective, they must have the proper coverage of the wearer’s face. It should be able to cover the forehead of the wearer, along with their face, eyes, nose, and mouth until below the chin.
For your protection, plastic face shields must be worn in the following situations:
- When you are in situations wherein splatters or splashes of liquid materials may occur such as: Wound irrigation, suctioning of different secretions and cleaning secretions.
- When you are handling chemicals or hazardous materials that may compromise your health and the health of others.
- When you are exposed to people who have respiratory tract infections with cough and colds.
- When you are involved in activities with prolonged face-to-face contact with people who are immunocompromised.
In simpler terms, a plastic face shield should be worn when there is a presence of risk of being exposed to hazardous materials. Since it offers full protection for the face of the wearer, the risk of being exposed to contaminated secretions will be reduced.
How do I use a face shield during the pandemic?
Since we are combatting a pandemic today, the wearing of plastic face shields has expanded to COVID-19-specific measures and face shields are used for extra protection, however, the face shield is not an alternative to the face mask.
To protect yourself from contracting the virus and passing the virus from other people, a face shield shall be work with a mask, and here are some situations wherein you could wear your plastic face shields:
- If you are working in an environment where you are in direct contact with the public.
- When you are in a public setting wherein it is impossible to maintain a physical distancing.
- When you are traveling in any transportation such as buses, trains, planes, or the like.
- When you are mingling with other people who live outside your household or when you are going inside the house of other people.
- Inside the home, if there are people who are exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
If you want to be extra protected, you may opt to wear your plastic face shield in every situation you prefer. You can wear this even if you are just going to the grocery, malls, or market.
How do I wear a plastic face shield the right way?
To ensure that you are wearing your plastic face shield correctly, follow the following steps:
- If you are using the elastic type of face shield, bend forward and hold the straps of your face shield using your two hands. If you are using the glasses type of face shield, unfold the face shield using both hands.
- Stretch the elastic using your thumb and carefully place the elastic at the back of your head. Ensure that the foam of the face shield rests properly on your forehead.
- If you are using the glasses type of face shield, simply place the face shield like how you wear your glasses. Once you have placed it, ensure that it covers the sides and front of your face.
- Always position your plastic face shield down.
Initially used in laboratories or in the construction industry, protective face shields have been more and more worn during the pandemic, offering an extra layer of protection, along with a face mask and – for some people – goggles. While it guarantees a better protection, it shall not be worn alone and, if you’re using it to protect yourself against the coronavirus, make sure that to wear a surgical mask as well.