Shelby County leaders launch campaign to provide kids with masks


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County’s Emergency Management team is using National Preparedness Month to launch a “Mask Up Our Kids” campaign.

“We’ve had a lot of call from parents saying masking is important, but we cannot find masks that can fit our kids and make sure they’re protecting our kids as well,” said Brenda Jones, director of Shelby County Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Shelby County Emergency Management leaders say with the CDC recommending masks for everyone two years and older, they wanted to make sure kids are protected during this pandemic.

“These are surgical masks, so each kid will get a minimum of 10 surgical masks and each kid will get at least one cloth mask,” Jones said.

Doctors say having a mask that fits properly is important for slowing the spread of the virus, especially as more places re-open and there’s a greater chance for community spread.

“If it’s not relatively well fitted to the face, the air is going to escape out of the top of the mask, out the bottom of the mask, out the sides of the mask,” said Dr. Sandy Arnold with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. “Children can be just as easily infected as adults, but they don’t get as ill, so they’re likely to be more asymptomatic spreaders. And they’re going to be out in public, and they’re going to be out with each other at school for the schools open.”

Doctors say this campaign is so important, not only to make sure kids are actually wearing the right size mask, but that all families in Shelby County have access to the things they need to protect their kids during this pandemic.

“That access is not equal for everybody. Ordering stuff online is not easy for everyone. So, having this availability is incredibly important,” Arnold said.

The campaign kicks off Saturday morning with drive-thru locations throughout the county. You can click here to see the full list of locations as well as more information about the campaign.

Organizers say if there isn’t a location convenient to you, they will make arrangements to get you one.

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