With the start of the school-year right around the corner and the Delta variant surging, it’s once again time to check to make sure your child is fully stocked on mask accessories before school begins—especially if your kid is under 12 and not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Wearing masks all day isn’t fun for anyone, including adults, so it’d be smart to find ways to make it as comfortable as possible for your child.
If you buy masks that already loop all the way around your head, you are probably unfamiliar with the need for these necklace-like accessories for face masks, since you can just slide those down and forget them until they’re needed. But ear loop masks have presented a challenge for many. When you take off your mask to eat, drink, or get a socially distant break from people, do you wear it on your chin, hang it from one ear, or stuff it in your pocket? The answer for children is often none of the above, while their parents find masks scattered all over the floor and the ground outside. That, perhaps, might be defeating some of the purpose of the masks, right?
Where there’s a minor inconvenience, there are dozens of people on Etsy, Amazon, and other retailers ready to solve the problem and then some. We now have available, all kinds of simple shoelace-style lanyards, clever straps made from elastic or silicone, and attractive beaded necklaces that can be customized with the wearer’s name or initials. You don’t even need to buy something specifically designed for attaching to masks, since any lanyard can simply hook onto those ear loops.
What we love about these clever new accessories is that, like reusable face masks and face shields, they offer a bright spot in our pandemic-dulled lives. Why not buy some adorable tie-dye and unicorn bling for your kids while questioning how on earth you’re going to manage this year of hybrid learning?
One other great thing about these mask lanyards, necklaces, and straps: The ones we list here are quite affordable. That means you can stock up on a variety of options as you see which ones are less likely to be lost or rejected by fussy kids. We get that it’s a lot to ask little ones to wear a face mask, so they might as well get an accessory they love out of the deal.
Here, you can shop for just the right face mask, clasp, and strap-hook-doohicky thing that your child won’t mind wearing all day, every day.
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A version of this article was originally published in July 2020.