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Wearing a non-medical face mask does not replace hygiene standards or guarantee protection from COVID-19. You should still avoid touching your face, wash your hands frequently using warm water and soap and practice social distancing.
Nearly two years into the pandemic, Canadian students and parents are gearing up for yet another mask-mandated return to the classroom.
With COVID-19 cases rising rapidly across the country, district school boards are far from unanimous on their back-to-school plans. K-to-12 students in Alberta and British Columbia, for example, are slated to return to their classrooms on Jan. 10, while students in Ontario are bracing for another stint of remote learning.
However, despite different provincial and territorial timelines, one thing remains constant: When your child heads back to the classroom, they will need to wear a mask.
What are the current rules and regulations around face masks and vaccinations for kids in school in Canada?
Health Canada has approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five years and older since Nov. 19, 2021. As of Jan. 7, nearly 46 per cent of children aged five to 11 have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. For Canadians aged 12 years and older, 90 per cent of the population has received at least one dose.
Currently, there are no overarching vaccine mandates for children in Canada; however, certain sectors have their own vaccine requirements for youths. Transport Canada, for example, requires all passengers ages 12 and up to be fully vaccinated to board domestic or international flights departing from Canada, VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.
While vaccination rates continue to climb, students are still required to wear masks for in-person learning, including in hallways, during classes, and on school vehicles. In general, non-medical and cloth face masks are approved for use, but it's important to double-check your provincial mask requirements and exceptions before heading to class.
COVID-19: Health and safety measures at schools by jurisdiction
Here are the current health and safety measures across Canada, as of Jan. 6.
With the start of a new semester around the corner, we rounded up 15 face masks and face shields your kids won't mind wearing all day long. According to reviewers, these are some of the best non-medical face masks for children in 2022.
According to reviewers, these are the best face masks for kids in Canada in 2022
These adorable dinosaur-printed face masks come with a filter pocket on the back and are a perfect fit for children aged one to five. "These are very comfy for my 4-year-old kiddo and fit well for him," writes one reviewer. "The adjustable ears are a big help, and the patterns are adorable."
These three-layer cotton face masks are UV-resistant and comfortable for all-day wear. Plus, with design options including "Frozen," "Spiderman," and Disney graphics, your kids won't mind keeping them on throughout the day.
Collecting more than 23,000 ratings, these child-friendly face masks have won the coveted spot of "Amazon's Choice" for kid's face masks. The four-ply non-medical masks are available in five designs, including a transportation-themed pack.
Ideal for older children and teenagers, this 10-pack of N95 masks has earned over 9,500 reviews from Amazon shoppers who call it a "great product, full stop."
These soft, lightweight cotton non-medical masks feature an adjustable nose piece for a comfortable, secure fit. "[My] kids have worn these for months," writes one shopper. "They wash well, wear well and are breathable enough for summer use."
Made of a blend of rayon and spandex jersey, this non-medical face mask is designed to feel like a comfortable T-shirt while remaining breathable and dry.
This non-medical adjustable face shield visor is made from anti-fog PET material and is designed to cushion the forehead with a soft sponge interior. "My five-year-old son wears this to school every day and it perfectly covers his face," writes one reviewer.
An assortment of five colours comes in each pack of these comfortable non-medical face masks. "These are the only masks my kids wear," writes one parent. "They fit nicely and are adjustable."
A great option for glasses-wearers, this fog-free face mask is made from double-layered 100 per cent Egyptian cotton and is available in more than 60 colours and prints.
These kid-friendly face shields are built with sturdy, durable, and powerful PET-based materials and have earned an average rating of 4.5 stars from Amazon reviewers. "Comfortable, well made, and good protection!" Raves one shopper.
Old Navy's kid's face mask pack includes five reusable, non-medical-grade face masks in assorted colours and patterns, including dinosaurs, animal prints and camo.
Available in a two-pack, four-pack, and ten-pack, parents say this top-rated face shield is a "comfortable option" for school-aged children. "The kids feel like superheroes in their shields," writes one reviewer.
With more than 1,800 reviews backing it, parents describe this over-the-head face mask as "nice and soft" and say "the head strap seems to be much easier for the kiddo to keep on than ear straps." The kid-friendly mask comes in a variety of sizes and patterns.
These fun and reusable winter-themed masks have earned an average rating of 4.7 stars from reviewers who call them "cute" and "good quality."
An "Etsy's Pick" face mask, this non-medical face covering is designed for children ages four to 12 and is made from soft, breathable cotton.