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Back to school shopping is always a little overwhelming, but there's one major item you won't want to miss on this year's must-buy list: a set of quality face masks for kids.
While in-school mask mandates vary from school district to school district, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that kids wear masks in school this year, regardless of their vaccination status. Basically, if you want to make sure your child is as protected as possible from COVID-19 and the Delta variant, you'll want to send them to school in a mask — and have plenty of backups handy.
Many parents have gotten the memo and are snatching up kids' face masks at a fierce rate. And, with that, stock is dwindling for some popular varieties. Luckily, these fan-favorite masks are still in stock. Grab a set — or several — while you still can.
These adorable masks are a huge hit with younger kids. Choose from seven different sets of three, each featuring a range of animal faces (dinosaurs! bears! pigs!) that make mask wearing fun. Each mask is made of three layers of 100 percent cotton poplin for a lightweight, breathable feel. Elastic ear straps help keep them snugly in place. "They fit my kids perfectly and they are as comfortable as can be," a satisfied customer said.
Shop it: Old Navy Variety 3-Pack of Triple-Layer Cloth Contoured Critter Face Masks, $9.50, oldnavy.com
Zoo's adjustable face masks are specially designed for little faces. The three-packs, which come in pink floral and green dino patterns, are made from two layers of soft cotton jersey fabric. Adjustable ear straps help your child get that just-right fit. "Perfect size for pre-K," one five-star fan wrote. "Super cute masks and designs," another said. "My five-year-old daughter can wear these all day at school with no problem. She’s able to adjust them herself also."
Shop it: Zoo Adjustable Face Masks, 3-Pack, $6, carters.com
Athleta Girl masks have been hugely popular with kids since the pandemic began. And, while the company's contoured masks are sold out, these surgical-style masks are still up for grabs. The five-pack — which comes in four different color themes — is crafted from three layers of fabric, including a lightweight outer layer and two inner layers of breathable cotton. Adjustable ear loops make for a secure fit. "These are the ones our nine-year-old grabs over and over," a satisfied customer said. "They are the most comfortable, and they fit better than a lot of others, so it puts my mind at ease, too."
Shop it: Athleta Girl Adjustable Everyday Non Medical Masks, 5-Pack, $25, athleta.gap.com
Got a child who prefers to keep things simple? Crayola's face masks come in basic black — along with a slew of other fun color options and patterns. These masks feature a metal nose wire and adjustable ear loops to help get a snug fit. Not only that, there's different sizing for younger kids and teens, allowing you to kit out your entire crew. "Perfect masks for your kids to wear to school since there is one for each day of the week," a satisfied customer said. "They came from the US and also have the Crayola tag, which you can write your child's name on the other side of it."
Shop it: Crayola Kids Face Mask, 5-Pack, $20, amazon.com
Baggu's kids' face masks are crafted in the style of KF94 masks, the Korean version of an N95, with a wide band that wraps around the front. These reusable masks are made from 100 percent organic quilter's cotton, which has a tight weave and thick thread. They're also specially sized for smaller faces. Adjustable ear loops and a bendable nose wire let you child get the perfect fit.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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