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Tips for wearing masks in the heat

Posted at 6:34 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 22:34:48-04

For many, wearing masks has been a bit more of a challenge lately with the soaring temperatures.

Today was a beautiful day to have lunch outside, but it's also "so hot like you can even see the heat waves in the distance. Like when you're in the desert right now," said Monique Claiborne of Lafayette.

Claiborne says she feels safer eating outside than indoors during the pandemic. But one thing that's not as comfortable is putting a face mask on after her meal.

Despite the soaring temperature, she says that doesn't make masks any less necessary to stop the spread of COVID 19.

"It's still important to wear them," she says. "Having it looser helps sometimes. I use a surgical mask anyway which i think is better."

Before stepping out into the heat, be sure to keep a few masks with you so you can change them out if you sweat throughout the day. Also, be mindful of the material and color you choose.

"Lighter color masks are better because the ultra violet rays from the sun easily absorbs through darker materials and that can cause them to heat up faster and that can contribute to the heat as well," says Dr. Lisa Bishop.

Bishop advises you to find breathable fabric like woven cotton, T-shirt fabric, paper or even bamboo can be more comfortable to wear. Be sure to change your mask often if you plan on spending a long time in the sun, she says.

"Once they become moist from the humidity and sweat they're not as effective. Also bacteria likes moist warm environment and that could also cause bacteria and cause odors. I recommend people change their mask many times a day. Don't let it become moist if if it does carry some other ones in a zip lock bag and change periodically," she says.