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Despite the rollout of three COVID-19 vaccines for emergency authorization use earlier this year, only children at least 12 years old are eligible to receive them. Now, the Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, but only for people ages 16 and up.
While face masks restrictions have loosened with the rollout of vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that any child over the age of two who is not fully vaccinated wear a mask in indoor public settings. And, face masks are still strongly advised, if not required, to be worn in schools, during travel and at doctor’s offices for anyone over the age of two — regardless of whether they’re vaccinated.
Generally, the CDC says both children and adults don’t need to wear masks outdoors. However, the practice is advisable in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases when you’ll be in a crowded outdoor setting or come in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
While it can be hard to get your hands on a KN95 mask for kids these days (KN95 masks have been found to offer the second best level of protection against COVID-19, following N95 masks reserved for healthcare workers), studies have shown that disposable surgical face masks offer adequate protection against the spread of COVID-19 as an alternative. Just keep in mind that any disposable face mask should fit snugly around your child’s face to prevent infected droplets from entering or exiting the mask. (If a surgical mask is slightly too big, you can shorten the ear loops or tie a knot in each ear loop to help achieve a closer fit.)
On top of being safe, disposable face masks are also a practical choice for kids. Since you simply throw them out after one wear, there’s no need to worry about forgetting or not having time to wash a reusable cloth mask. They also come in bulk packs so you can stock up on 50 at a time with just one purchase.
With that in mind, we scoured thousands of reviews to bring you the best disposable face masks for kids on the market. Among our selection, you’ll find top-rated styles from retailers like Amazon, and Target. They come in playful prints to make wearing them more fun and feature a protective three-ply design, adjustable ear loops that should be soft and a flexible nose clip that lets you perfect the fit.
This option also comes with 50 masks in different solid colors and sweet prints. Featuring over 4,000 four- and five-star reviews, one customer claims that the masks were “exactly” what they has been searching for. “The packaging was nice and the masks came in a vacuum-sealed bag. The thickness and sizing seem perfect for my five-year-old. These could even work on an adult in a pinch, unless you have a wide face.”
EZ Breezy Disposable Masks
Another top-rated option, these masks come in a pack of 10, 25, or 50. They’re available in a blue star print, gray star print, and pink heart print. One five-star review reads: “These are good masks. My six-year-old twins have been complaining about wearing reusable masks and not being able to breathe. They wore them today and came home happy.”
WeCare 50 Fun Pack
WeCare’s pack includes a range of printed styles, featuring cute monsters, polka dots, colorful blocks and more. You can also choose a single-print pack. “These masks fit both my small four-year-old and larger size 10-year-old. The kids like the variety in the pack,” one review read.
Just Play 24-Pack
Each box of Just Play’s face masks comes with two fun designs: blue camouflage print and rainbow tie-dye. One satisfied mom wrote: “These work amazing for my kids: ages 14, nine, eight and six.” The brand also sells Hot Wheels and Barbie-themed masks.
Over 2,000 customers gave these printed white masks four or five star reviews. One satisfied reviewer wrote, “These are perfect! The fit is great. My kindergarten wears them daily to school and they fit my three and eight-year-old.”
While these masks are a bit more basic, they’re still beloved. One happy mom wrote: “My six-year-old girl and eight-year-old son love these for school. They don’t bother their ears and are the perfect size. After breathing in them all day at school, I throw them away and don’t have to wash cotton masks daily. Bought three boxes because I’m done searching now!”
Maskc Jungle 10-Pack
Not only do these masks come in a jungle print, but they’re also available in a tie-dye option and solid colors, too. “Excellent disposable mask for children,” one mom wrote. “Perfect fit for small faces. Cute prints encourage my son to wear the mask.”
Basic Resources 50-Pack
Out of nearly 6,000 reviews, 80% of shoppers gave these masks a five-star rating. Coming with 50 masks in assorted patterns, one reviewer with an eight-year-old called them a “must-buy for a snug, comfortable fit.”
Joycolor Disposable Masks
With this option, you can choose between a box of 25 or 50 masks coming in various prints. Also, nearly 80% of buyers left these masks a five-star rating. One mom wrote: “I was pleased with the quality of the masks. The nose wire seems very durable and thick. Other masks have a very thin wire similar to a twist tie, but these are better than that.”
One pleased shopper wrote of these basic disposable masks: “These are soft, comfortable and breathable. My five and seven-year-old forget they are wearing them! Also, they fit small adult faces without discomfort from the string tugging behind the ears because they have adequate stretch.”
Viva Naturals 50-Pack
In addition to this cute pineapple print option, these masks also come in a strawberry print, plain black, purple, and blue camouflage. One review reads: “My 11-year-old loves these masks, especially the fun pattern! She has worn them for hours at a time and says they are very comfortable and do not rub. We are happy customers!”
Coming in classic blue, these disposable masks also have some great reviews. “My nine-years-old grandson, who has sensory issues, tolerated wearing these to school and found he could wear them all day, ” said one reviewer. Another praised the masks for being “thin enough to be breathable but thick enough to filter out germs.”