How to Properly Wear a Face Mask

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised individuals to cover their mouth and nose in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker released an executive order that residents over the age of 2 must wear face masks or face coverings in situations where social distancing can’t be practiced (e.g. grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.)


When wearing a face mask, it’s important to wear it properly to make sure you are protecting yourself and others in your community. Here are the CDC guidelines to follow.



How should I wear a face mask?


When wearing a face mask, make sure you’re following these recommendations from the CDC:


    • Cover your mouth and nose with the mask.


    • Make sure the mask is snug, check for gaps on the sides.


    • Keep the mask on while out of your house.


    • Avoid touching the front of the mask without gloves.


    • When removing the mask, make sure it doesn’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.


    • Wash your hands after you remove your mask.



Should I wash my face mask?


Yes, be sure to wash a cloth mask or dispose of a disposable mask after every use. You don’t have to follow a sanitizing procedure — a washing machine should be enough to properly clean your face covering.


Where can I find a face mask?


According to the CDC, cloth face coverings are recommended. Surgical masks and N-95 respirators should continue to be saved for health care workers and other medical first responders.


Many businesses are selling these essentials while giving back. If you want to support small and local, there are Chicago-area designers selling face masks. You can also look into bigger corporations such as Disney and Old Navy.


How can I make my own face mask?


Try these directions from the CDC for making sew or no-sew masks. Or, use this tutorial from the Stitching Scientist for kid-sized masks or this one from Cricut for a no-sew version.


How do I explain wearing a face mask to my child?


Try these tips from Lurie Children’s Hospital to help younger kids understand about mask use. Remember that no one under age 2 should wear a mask.


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