Beyond Masks

A Second Line Face Shields Add Protection for Schools, Client-Facing Enterprisesof Defense

Made in America Face Shields

While medical experts continue to encourage wearing cloth face masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, more professionals are seeing the benefits of clear plastic face shields as a supplement to, and in rare cases a replacement for, masks.

The medical profession has long recognized face shields as essential protective equipment (PPE) for medical teams working with patients infected with COVID-19 and other airborne diseases. That awareness is spreading to other areas.

A Second Line of Defense

Because they are open on the sides and at the bottom, face shields don’t provide the same level of protection as masks that completely cover the nose and mouth. But they add extra protection for the eyes and against propulsive ejections such as coughs and sneezes or shouts and loud singing.

And for some people who can’t wear masks, face shields offer more protection than wearing no face covering at all.

When a Mask Won’t Do

Plastic Facemasks

While the CDC doesn’t currently recommend face shields as substitutes for masks, they acknowledge that wearing a mask may not be feasible in some situations. For example, people who are deaf or hard of hearing may rely on lip-reading, so they need to see their associates’ and caregivers’ faces.

Special needs children and adults may be intimidated by persons wearing masks and seeing reassuring facial expressions are important in therapy. Young children learning language and communication skills also need to see vocalizations to understand how words are formed.

In these situations, while not perfect, face shields offer a measure of protection to both parties while allowing nonverbal communication to take place.

Put on a Friendly Face

There’s no doubt that people respond to a friendly face when interacting with staff in places like restaurants, retailers, barbershops, and salons and spas. Office workers, teachers, and librarians also make coworkers, students, and customers more comfortable when a smile is shared.

In places where reasonable social distancing is possible, face shields offer a more welcoming interaction, especially when customers are wearing masks or taking other precautions.

They also show that the business is serious about protecting both its clients and customers.

Best Practices for Using Face Shields

Because face shields may become contaminated on both sides, the CDC recommends taking precautions in handling and using them.

  • Wearers should wash their hands before and after using a face shield
  • Users should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing a face shield
  • Reusable face shields should be cleaned and disinfected after each use according to manufacturer instructions or by following CDC face shield cleaning instructions .

Putting Resources and Ingenuity to Good Work

Just as Ford and others made room in their factories to make badly needed respirators, the designers and production staff at SSI Cards has taken their expertise in making high-tech plastic direct marketing materials and applied it to innovative, affordable solutions for manufacturing PPE face shields.