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Face Shields in the Classroom

Face Shield and Face Mask sitting on students desk in classroom.

As teachers, parents, and students prepare for a new school year unlike any before, much attention is being devoted to ensuring the health and safety of everyone in the classroom. A key piece of the puzzle will be personal protective equipment, or PPE, that will help limit the transmission of COVID-19. While the wearing of face masks is currently mandated in many jurisdictions across the country, they do present some limitations in the classroom that can be solved by the wearing of face shields.

Face shields possess many advantages over face masks in the classroom. Being able to see the whole face of the person talking is hugely important for educational development and retention. Face masks obscure visual and social cues many of us take for granted every day. But with a clear plastic face shield, the wearer’s facial expressions are fully visible and clearly understood. This benefit is especially important for early childhood development, speech therapy, and hearing-disabled support.

Face shields are also better than face masks in arguably the most important area: personal protection. A full face shield that extends below the chin and around the sides of the face provides a two-way barrier, protecting both the wearer and those nearby. The bulk of the protection offered by a face mask, on the other hand, is for those around the wearer. While this is surely still a noble goal to restrict the growth of COVID-19 cases, for maximum available safety a clear face shield is the right choice for daily classroom usage.

Another drawback to face masks is that they are frequently touched and adjusted when worn, leading to spread of the virus via the hands of the wearer. A full face shield naturally restricts this frequent face touching. For teachers trying to manage a busy classroom, not having to constantly remind students to avoid fiddling with their face masks will simplify classroom management.

The ease of properly cleaning a plastic face shield is also a bonus for classroom use. Protective face shields can be cleaned quickly and simply with a mild solution of soap and water on the inside with a microfiber or soft cotton cloth then buffing the front clean while drying the shield. Should a student’s face mask become dirty, they can be excused to a classroom sink or bathroom to swiftly clean it off before returning back to the class with minimal disruption. A cloth face mask requires more intensive cleaning, possibly requiring a washing machine and do not dry as quickly as a face shield. This is another use case where a face shield surpasses a face mask for usage in the classroom.

Some studies as well as scientific understanding of the spread of other viruses (like measles and adenoviruses) suggest that COVID-19 can possibly infect people through their eyes. This is yet another advantage of a protective face shield which would sharply lower the possibility of viral particles reaching the wearer’s eyes. Wearing goggles or safety glasses in addition would perform mostly the same function but a clear plastic face shield does all this in one cheap package.

If you’re responsible for the safety and educational success of people in the classroom this upcoming school year, consider the many benefits of face shields when deciding on what PPE to use. CustomSchoolFaceShields.com is here to support your safe reopening with custom face shields designed specifically for you. Stay safe and get back to in-person learning this year with a protective face shield!

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