Happiness in a Mask
While the global pandemic crisis is still accelerating at a fearsome rate, the transmission has certainly slowed down a little with isolation protocols in place. From partial lockdowns to a mere health advisory, everything has tried to stop the spread to best levels possible. Among the most effective measures, protective masks have proved to be of prime importance to curb community transmission. While the number of affected people stay climbing every day, children and the elderly remain the most vulnerable groups in society.
The pandemic has caused distress to the health and safety of people across the world. It has brought down economy to a grinding halt while unemployment and industry closure are at record peaks. But one of the most dangerous effects of the pandemic is yet underrated and ignored. The psychological effects of everything that is a consequence of the virus, especially in children.
According to a recent study by Save The Children, 65% of the children struggled with boredom and isolation due to the crisis. In UK, 60% of the children are in a state of worry while as 34% children in USA reported feeling scared. The study concluded that children are at the risk of lasting psychological distress from the current crisis. This is a very worrisome picture.
The cause of this distress is not only isolation and staying insides worrying for the situation that kids clearly don't understand, but a phenomenal change around their lives including changes in the dress code which plays a vital part in it.
These changes include the overnight introduction of masks in their lives. The behavioural changes around this particularly affect a child when asked to be overprotective about its surroundings by wearing protective equipment. This has by far been the most important factor in causing the trauma on their young minds.
Imagine a 6-10-year-old child dressed up in a scary-looking facemask looking at everyone around him in the same attire. "Where are the faces? " the child must be thinking. The continuous masking of everyone around might give a child the safety required from the virus, but it most certainly instils a sense of fear and loss also. The process might have only started but it's not far from blowing into a major psychological crisis.
According to Roberto Olivardia, Psychologist at Harvard Medical School, 1% of the children may already suffer from "mask phobia". For children seeing their parents, siblings and friends wearing masks as they come and go can be very frightening, a source of sadness or a reminder of a pandemic. The scary-looking masks would really take a toll on their mental health which might evolve into physical form too.
Masks as a source of protection might turn into something that could be worse for the child than the virus itself. A lifelong scar on the psyche that may become hard to treat if not addressed at the earliest. It might also hinder the cognitive development of the child especially in the age group of 6-9 years. Children begin to develop face recognition skills at the age of 6 and attain adult level recognition at 14 years. To live in that age with continuous face shielding in the society might disrupt the recognition skills of the child. Add to that the ugly scary pictures the mask presents to the child. Thus as scary as it may sound, it might turn out as a reality.
So how would we pull the children out of the mask phobia that surrounds them? Is there a way to make the safety of your child more fun? Can there be a solution to make this experience less scary for the kids so that they pass through this difficult phase with lesser worries?
Oxyvent makes that possible. Conceptualized & designed in Israel, and produced in India, the company has come up with a unique innovative solution to the phobia caused by masks in children. Oxyvent comes up with its flagship designer masks for children that provide your children safety from the virus while looking after their mental health too. Our face filters are specially designed to provide maximum comfort to the wearer while providing a special treat. The filters are digitally printed with happy designs that your child will love to look at. The designs range from his/her favourite superhero to a doll. It might be an abstract pattern that soothes upon looking. It can be a still from their favourite TV show or their favourite sport. It can be anything that will make your child happy while looking at his friends and family. The scary masks are gone and the new age of happiness has dawned upon them. This would help your child to cheer up when he looks around at his friends in a superhero mask while he is wearing it too. The psychological damage would surely reduce to a great extent and the fear of masks might turn obsolete.
I know what you are thinking as a parent. Are these masks with all the printing and the ink and build material safe for your child? Does it value safety over and above anything else?
Oxyvent face filter is a multilayer safety mask made up with 100% Cotton and melt-blown material with moisture control anti-bacterial finish. The product achieves a strict 95% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency(BFE). "But what about the ink? " you might ask "isn't it harmful for the child to keep a piece of printed safety equipment on its face while breathing through it all the time? "
Well, our unique designs are digitally printed on the fabric with Oeko-Tex Approved Inks. For those of you who don't know what that is, it means that our products are tested rigorously for over 100 harmful substances and awarded an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certification that makes them fit for human use adhering to the highest quality and safety standards.
According to the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), the current pandemic may affect 60-70% of the population and may last up to two years. Assuming that is true, it would mean befriending masks for a long time. It's better to make a friend out of the mask that provides maximum safety and doesn't scare your child in the process. The picture doesn't look too gloomy that way.