As we prepare for a second wave of the coronavirus, it’s not uncommon to see people wearing medical masks and protective face shields. This new development then raises the question: ‘are protective face shields really effective?’ The short answer is yes, but a lot more goes into the science of it. Here is all you should know about using protective face shields.
For some time now, protective face shields have experienced an upturn in usage. In healthcare settings, they have become the minimum requirement for medical personnel who handle COVID-19 cases. Prior to this development, protective face shields have always been used for medical procedures such as surgeries.
A protective face shield is a curved plastic (made of Plexiglas material) panel hanging from a headband, that is worn over the face. It fits securely removing any form of gap between forehead and gap. It also extends all the way down to the chin and sometimes the neck. Due to their curvature, protective face shields protect the entire face. Still…
Are Protective Face Shields Really Effective?
Although experts disagree on the effectiveness of protective face shields, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend it. In fact, research such as this 2014 study shows that a protective face shield reduces surface contamination of minute articles by 97%. This alone is a significant figure that affirms the effectiveness of using a shield.
Going by this data, we understand that the protective face shield has many benefits such as:
Protects the entire face from the coronavirus.
Unlike masks, protective face shields cannot be worn incorrectly. This means that they always stay secured without further need for adjustments.
In addition to the fact that protective face shield materials are easy to make and not so hard to find, they may be the best budget protection against the coronavirus.
Can Protective Face Shields be Used Every Day?
For one, the CDC is against persons wearing protective face shields every day, particularly those who use them as replacements for face masks. This is simply not hygienic, and this information should be passed down to people using them on a daily basis. However, if you do find yourself in constant lose contact with others; you may use a protective face shield regularly. But it must be used in conjunction with a face mask.
How to Use a Protective Face Shield
Keep in mind that protective face shields protect you more than others around you. So if you have been diagnosed with coronavirus or are exhibiting symptoms, you must pay attention to your gear. Like all viruses, COVID-19 thrives better on plastic than on cloth or paper materials. This suggests that you must:
Clean your protective face shield after use
Sterilise with soap and water, antibacterial wipes or alcohol pads.
Replace cracked or damaged protective face shields.