Face shields have become a necessity here in the Philippines over the past couple of months. Due to government regulation (was there strong scientific basis, though?), there’s simply no way you’ll be able to get around without wearing one (though not wearing one while riding a bicycle is allowed)—unless you’re willing to disregard health and safety.
The threat of a fine shouldn’t be what keeps you using this personal protective equipment (PPE). Along with face masks, face shields are supposed to keep COVID-19 at bay.
But does putting one on mean you’re good to go? Hardly. You need to know how to wear one properly and, just as important, how to handle it after use. Here are four important things to keep in mind:
1) Don’t leave your face shield in your car.
We know it’s tempting to just leave your face shield inside your car after using it. After all, you only ever need to put it on when you go out, right? Storing it inside your vehicle means it’s impossible to forget whenever you drive out, and this also means you’ll never misplace it.
But is it a good idea? No. According to Top Gear Philippines contributor and anesthesiologist Raymond Figuerres, doing so can damage your PPE.
“Leaving them there exposed to sunlight can damage them. They’d be sterilized by UV light from the sun, but damaged,” he said.
2) Disinfect it regularly.
Speaking of sterilizing, be sure to disinfect your face shield on a regular basis. By that, we mean whenever you’re done using it.
According to Figuerres, the safest approach to face shields is to consider them contaminated all the time, except after being disinfected. To clean a face shield, he recommends spraying it with soapy water and giving it a thorough wipe-down.
“You should clean them every day. Spraying soapy water and wiping vigorously is enough. Hang them to dry until the next use,” he explained. “Consider them contaminated all the time, except of course right after cleaning.”
3) Make sure it covers your whole face.
Settling for one that only covers the upper half of your face is a tempting proposition, but don’t do this. Sure, it may look more stylish and provide better breathability, but it also isn’t as protective as a full-on face shield that covers you all the way to the chin. It’s also worth noting that many establishments and places require the use of a full face shield. And speaking of covering the whole face, it will be hard for a face shield to do so if it doesn’t fit properly. Make sure yours does.
4) For the love of God, don’t share your face shield with other people.
Yeah, you know how they say that sometimes common sense isn’t so common? This one is for those cases.
Anyway, in case some people still don’t get it, you shouldn’t share face shields because there’s always the risk that whoever you’re sharing your PPE with has the virus. Clear enough?