This year – for obvious reasons – things are different, and it's not just about getting the right school uniform kit, parents now need to think about shopping for face masks. But which face coverings are best and what are the rules? We've investigated – and gathered together the best washable and reusable face masks for children now that they've gone back to school. Scroll down to see the list.
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What are the official government rules regarding face masks for children in UK schools?
While face coverings are not compulsory everywhere, there are new guidelines as of 26 August. Secondary school pupils in Scotland and Northern Ireland have to wear face coverings in school corridors starting 31 August. In September, secondary school pupils in local lockdown zones in England will need to wear face coverings in communal areas such as school corridors. Head teachers also have the discretion to introduce a face covering rule for their individual schools if necessary.
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Primary schools are not currently affected by the new guidelines, although the rules will likely evolve once school starts to get underway. In Scotland, for example, the government has already advised that pupils aged five and up will need to wear face coverings on school buses.
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Will face masks be compulsory at my child’s school?
Although there is no official rule to make masks mandatory on a nationwide level, individual schools may decide to ask children to wear face coverings. Even if they are not required in the classroom, remember that face masks will still be required on public transport by law for children ages 11 and over.
Bearing in mind the expert advice that you should change face masks after every use – and this could include two trips on public transport per day – it’s a good idea to invest in at least four masks so you have spares for washing.
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Which masks are best for children and where can I buy them?
Schools are likely to favour plain masks, possibly matching your child’s school uniform. There are several good washable plain masks for children you can buy online, and some that can be discretely personalised with your child’s name so you don’t have to worry about them getting lost. It’s important you invest in one in a size that fits correctly around the nose and under the chin to avoid the spread of coronavirus. We've rounded up the best below.
Shop kids' face mask variety packs for school
If you are just looking for kids face masks for school and you don't have to worry about matching a school uniform, we've made it easy for you to choose with this selection of plain kids' face masks. These all come in packs of five, so your child will have one for each day of the school week.
(If you need to know where to buy single-colour packs to match school colours, keep scrolling – we have you covered, too!)
Marks & Spencer has one of the best deals around for school face masks: a pack of five adjustable kids' face coverings in plain colours for under £10
Marks & Spencer 5-pack reusable kids' face masks, pack of 5, £9.50, Marks & Spencer
Schoolmaskpack.com and it stocks Crayola non-medical mask packs that come with a 5-mask system featuring unique face mask designs for each day of the school week to avoid cross-contamination.
Crayola face masks, £23.79, Schoolmaskpack.com
These luxury masks are one of the few sets on the market with nose wire - which is a must if your child wears glasses
Shiroko 3 pack monochrome face masks for kids with nose wire, £40, Etsy
A variety of colours and styles of kids' masks, individually or in sets, is available on Etsy
5-pack children’s plain face masks, £8.06, Etsy
Shop kids' face masks for school: Single colour bulk packs
With the face mask rules constantly evolving, a safe bet it to shop a basic kids' face covering that matches your child's school uniform colours. It’s already a challenge to find individual kids masks that fit the bill, so its truly joy-inducing to find plain kids’ face masks in multi-packs – like packs of 5, one for each day of the week.
Pacamask has a great deal for kids – their face coverings, which are £17.95 each for kids and adults sizes, are just £9.95 if you buy at least 6. The Pacamask Colour Collection Children’s mask comes in school-friendly shades like red, grey, black, purple and dark blue.
Pacamask's antibacterial face coverings are reduced in price from £17.95 each to £9.99 if you buy six
Children’s face mask in red, more colours available, £9.99 for six, Pacamask
Etsy is a great place to check for good deals on face mask packs for kids and adults
Navy blue kids face masks, pack of 5, £9.67, Etsy
This pack of 5 also comes in grey and white
Oscar Apparels kids plain face mask, £8.83 for 5, Amazon
Kids' face masks for school uniforms: Individual
Need just a single mask for your child's return to school? We've searched out some great options for individual kids masks for school as well.
This face mask, handmade in the UK, comes in three childrens' sizes – aged 3-6, aged 6-10 and aged 11-14 – and is reversible, with burgundy on one side and navy on the other. Basically, the perfect choice for school.
Reversible triple-layer kids' face mask, £10, Etsy
Here are more options in various colours...
Choose from black, navy, burgundy or bottle green
Back to school face mask, £9.50, Etsy
Plain red mask, £11.99, Just Hype
Basic black children’s mask for ages 3-12, £6.99, Amazon
Green mask with permanent filter for children, £13, Vistaprint
Grey mask with permanent filter for children, £13, Vistaprint
Personalised kids' face masks for school
Make sure your child's mask doesn't get mixed up with anyone else's with a custom mask personalised with their name or initials.
Personalised face mask blue, £14.99, Etsy
Back to school monogram face mask, more colours available, from £7.26, Etsy
Face mask storage cases for school
Don't forget that your child will also have to keep track of their mask! Face mask storage cases are a major trend – here are some cool examples your kids will love.
Personalised face mask case, £4.84, Etsy
Personalised mask pouch and hand sanitizer kit, £12.10, Etsy
Clear face mask case, £3.99, Etsy
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