🧵 Parents of teens looking for N95/KN95/KF94 masks that your teens will wear without complaint, I feel your pain. We are 2 drs w/ 3 teens. We obviously believe in high-quality masks, & we’ve struggled to find masks that fit well & are comfy enough for kids to wear all day. 1/x
Let me start by saying we have no relationship with any mask company, no one gave us any free masks, & no one asked us to review or recommend any mask. Our views don’t represent any employers. Tweeting here as parents & your kids may be different. 2/x
My teens (14, 16, 17) are both sexes & pretty average sizes, especially their faces (unlike their mom…I have a small face & can wear some kids’ eyeglass frames). We started trying the masks that we liked or had ourselves. 3/x
For my small face, I have found the Respokare N95 (size M) to be a comfy mask that I can put on & not need to adjust, & it’s got antiviral coating. It was too tight on them. Size L fit them width-wise but was still too long top to bottom, so would be 👍 for a long/wide face. 4/x
The antiviral coating has kind of a vinegar smell. I don’t mind it. It kind of reminds me of salt & vinegar chips. But one of my kids who is sensitive to smells & textures etc found the smell to be a dealbreaker. May not be a good choice if your kid is the same. 5/x
It comes only in light blue & straps go around head.

We also tried the 3M Aura N95 mask, which seems to be avail all over. We bought it directly off the 3M website, but I know many have found it in the paint aisle of HD, hardware stores, etc. It comes only in white.

It fits all 5 of us well, despite a pretty dramatic range of face sizes, & we all get a good seal, so if you had to go grab N95 masks for a ✈️ or something & hope they fit, it’s a 👍 bet. The nose wire is covered by soft rubber inside, which makes it comfy. Straps go around head.
Our kids have worn it for higher risk things where I was very worried about aerosol, like singing, & it doesn’t muffle voice, but straps are tight. They wear it w/o complaint it for 2-3 hrs, but all agree they would find it tough to wear for a full school day, day after day.

My kid who hates anything too tight from clothes to masks finds it too tight & will only stay in it for 20-30 mins before insisting on changing it. Many HCWs wear the Aura at work, so it CAN be worn all day, but the efficacy of a 😷 that’s not worn is 0%. Know your kids.

Since our kids felt those masks were too short/long, tight, or vinegary, we tried the Kimberly-Clark Kimtech N95 pouch respirator 53358. It comes only in white & has straps around head, but they are a soft kind of fabric, not rubber, so they don’t pull hair whatsoever.

Because they are thin & have a lot of airspace in front of the mouth, they also get less hot/humid & don’t muffle the voice at all. I thought that made them a slam dunk for school. Alas the teens feel they make them look the most ridiculous of any mask we’ve tried. Sigh.

They’re still extremely comfortable & affordable. My teens agree you could wear it all day & forget it’s on. (Except for people pointing at them.) A good 😷 for a teen who just wants comfort & doesn’t care if they look different. A good 😷 in home isolation for same reason.

And finally we tried Powecom GB2626-2019 KN95 mask. It comes in white, black, or pink, & has both ear loop & strap around head style. We got the ear loop one, & all agreed it was very comfy on both their faces & ears. The mask is closer to the mouth than any other.

But they didn’t find it bothersome. No one found it too hot or humid. No one asked if we were done yet. It’s also pretty affordable at ~$1 each, & it has scratch-off w/ a unique code on each bag you check on their website to know it’s legit (KN95 counterfeits are an issue).

I suspect part of why they like it is that it’s very well-fitted to the face, but not nearly as tight as a true N95 w/ headstrap is designed to be. It’s the only non-N95 mask we tried with them, & the only one with ear loops. It’s possible they’d like any KN95 just as well.

Nonetheless all are happy with this one. Being less tight, it’s prob less protective than one of the true N95 masks we tried, but I have far greater confidence they’ll keep it on, which is its true test in the real world. One of them liked it enough to give some to friends.

Lots of these masks are available via the nonprofit @projectn95, where the people are available 365 days per yr & so helpful if you’re having trouble finding a good match for yourself or your family. They’re affordable too, even without buying a truckload.

We’ve seen others available via the US-based family-run @BonaFideMasks, which began selling 😷 in 2020 at request of a community org. If you are buying KN95 masks, you should know that up to half of these in the US have been found to be counterfeit. I would strongly suggest

That you buy these from a place w/ a reputation for vetting its products carefully. Read the About Us section of the website. Or buy a brand that includes a scratch off # or QR code on the bag to enable you to verify the KN95 authenticity on the manufacturer’s website.

This article is helpful to identify reputable sites: scientificamerican.com/article/why-we…. If you buy KN95 masks in a store, ask the manager where they source their products from. If it’s not the manufacturer directly, might be best to steer clear.

If you’re still with me, on tweet #21, I think, at midnight on a Friday, you get a 🍪. Parents of teens, drop recs for other high-protection masks your kids like. They may not love to #WearAMask, but #schools will NOT succeed during #omicron w/o them.
Finally, we didn’t try any KF94 masks (the South Korean equiv of our N95; KN95 is the Chinese equiv). We’ve heard of KF94 masks w/ same shape as the 3M Aura & adjustable ear loops that many people say offer a great fit & comfort, but never any in stock, eg Bluna Facefit.

And finally, a surgical mask that you tie & tuck per this CDC demo () w/ a 😎 cloth mask over top is far better than either alone if your teen just won’t do an N95/KN95/KF94. Most important msg: we’re SO much safer w/ #Omicron when we all #MaskUp. 👇


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More from @tmprowell

May 25
It’s morning. It’s time to act. I’ve just left VMs at offices of @SenatorCardin, @ChrisVanHollen, @RepKweisiMfume. I’ve confirmed my whole fam age 18+ is reg to vote, I’m donating to @MomsDemand & volunteering. #LetsGo #GunSafetyNow #RobbElementary

Register to #Vote, confirm that you are registered, request a mail-in ballot, or find your polling place here: vote.org. Stop scrolling & act. Ask your friends & family too. Help them w/ the process if they need it. #RobbElementary #GunSafetyNow
And if you feel like your views & concerns are not well-represented by your elected officials, maybe it’s time for YOU or someone else in your life to @runforsomething. #GunSafetyNow #RobbElementary
Read 4 tweets
May 18
So I wasn’t that worried a few hrs ago. This dials it up a little.

For anyone who has ever played the collaborative board game #Pandemic, you may know how it goes when there’s uncontrolled spread of one pathogen throughout 🌎 & then outbreak of a new one in mult countries. 😖
The current #monkeypox outbreak now includes cases in #UK, #Spain, #Portugal, #Canada, #US…from what I’m reading, this sounds like person-to-person transmission, which historically was thought to be rare, & evidence of community spread. Wow. #MedTwitter

Smallpox vaccination provides at least partial protection against #monkeypox, but routine smallpox vaccination in the 🇺🇸 stopped in 1972. Most Americans under age 50, including myself, are not #vaccinated.
Read 4 tweets
May 17
We have either rapid re-infection, or rebound #Covid19 after Paxlovid, in my own 🏡 . Vaxxed & boosted. Symptoms & rapid test pos 5/2, 5d of Pax 5/4-5/8, all symptoms gone, neg rapid test x 2 5/8 & 5/9.

5/16 new symptoms & RAT instantly pos (📸). Our #MedTwitter 🏡 is weary. Image
By the way, the right answer is not “So Paxlovid doesn’t work.” It works very well to ⬇️ risk of severe illness, which matters a lot. And right answer is not “so let’s just give 10d.” Right answer is we need data to understand this phenomenon & direct rational antiviral use.
I’m sharing this because:
👉Anecdotes can generate scientific hypotheses that THEN MUST BE STUDIED WITH RIGOR &
👉The public needs to know for #publichealth reasons that, one way or another, we can end up symptomatic & contagious again a wk after apparent #COVID19 recovery.
Read 11 tweets
May 9
Per @NoNutTraveler, “the @united pilot came back, & he & the flight attendant began asking me if we had Epi-Pens. I said, of course we do. To which the flight attendant gaily said: ‘Well then, we can serve anything because he can just use the pen.’” NO! /1
This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of anaphylaxis, including #peanutallergy. In fact, this fallacy—if you’ve got an Epipen, exposures aren’t a concern—was the topic of a past corrective ad that FDA required the maker of Epipen to air. /2 mmm-online.com/home/channel/o…
I’m speaking here as a dr & the mom of a kid who has nearly died of inadvertent peanut exposures even with an Epipen, which we always carry. Airlines & the public need to know that Epipens are a rescue med, not a preventative, & do not eliminate the need to avoid the allergen. /3
Read 4 tweets
May 7
Lots of chatter in my feed & my DMs this AM about Paxlovid & “rebound.” Let’s be mindful of the diff ways this term is getting used & interpreted, #MedTwitter. Some are referring to return of symptoms after feeling better, others to triggering more severe symptoms… /1
Others are using “rebound” to mean going from rapid test neg (not contagious) back to positive (contagious) again; still others are using it to mean increased short-term risk of new infection w/ same #Covidvariant. People are suggesting alt dosing, duration. Stop, stop, stop. /2
Learn from #pandemic yr 1&2. This conversation has gotten way ahead of the data. We risk inadvertent #publichealth harm from the mis/dis-info machinery if we speak/act imprecisely here, esp without data. Next tweet has an article w/ a good summary of what we do & don’t know. /3
Read 4 tweets
May 7
Here are 2 family members, similar ages/#MedTwitter history, #vaxxed & #boosted, dev symptoms & tested pos same day, got Paxlovid same day. Day 4 tests below. Why are we still using a 'one size fits all' strategy to exit isolation when rapid tests are readily available, @CDCgov ?
I doubt policy will change (note: shortening isolation to 5d was done to minimize societal impact from loss of essential workers to isolation in Jan #Omicron wave), so you should choose to rapid test to exit isolation. A positive = contagious, no matter how many days it's been.
Here's another example. Two more people, again similar age/health history, both vaxxed and boosted. On the left, patient #1 on day #13. On the right, patient #2 on day #5. We'll see what happens with patient #2 but I'd be willing to bet they can leave isolation well before 2 wks.
Read 4 tweets

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