Crayola enters the face mask wars... just in time for back-to-school shopping

Crayola enters the face mask wars... just in time for back-to-school shopping

It’s a new world out there for everyone, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, and that includes back-to-school supplies for students. This year parents are tasked with providing face masks for their children, as they will be required to wear them. Crayola knows an opportunity when it sees it.

The crayon manufacturer is selling a line of face masks for children. Now available for pre-order, the masks should arrive in time for school opening this fall, if your child’s school plans to re-open at all. The company also offers adult face masks. I can see it now – matching mother and daughter face masks (or father and son). How 2020. Crayola teamed up with manufacturer SchoolMaskPack to produce five-day packs of washable cloth face masks. A mesh laundry bag is included so that the masks can be tossed in the laundry and ready for the next week’s use. They are made to last for six months.

“It’s looking more and more like wearing masks is the new normal,” says SchoolMaskPack spokesperson Hans Lao. “You should want a fresh mask every day like you want a fresh pair of underwear each day.”

The Crayola face mask five-packs are more expensive than, say, Old Navy Kids’ five-packs of cloth face masks. A quick search shows five-packs at Old Navy selling for $12.50 while the Crayola face masks are advertised for pre-order at $29.99 for kids, $39.99 for adults. Yes, you are paying extra for the brand name. Oh, and these face masks are not made in America, they are made in Thailand.

Face masks are the new must-have fashion accessory, even for school kids. Crayola did what smart companies do, take the opportunity when it is presented. The brand is a trusted name by parents and it’s a clever move. Why not make wearing a hot and uncomfortable face mask a little more fun with cute designs and colors? I still find it hard to believe that kids, especially the youngest of students, will be able to handle wearing a face mask during a normal school day if there will be such a thing this fall.

“Crayola has always worked to support children in the home and in the classroom,” said Warren Schorr, Vice President of Business Development and Global Licensing at Crayola. “We’re glad to partner with SchoolMaskPack to bring options to their mask system and provide supportive solutions for school communities, parents, teachers, and children.”

The CDC recommends all children over the age of two wear a face mask in public, unless the child has a breathing issue, like asthma. Finding the proper fit for a child’s face can be tricky. There are many companies selling face masks for kids.

There are important reasons to have your kid cover their face with a mask, even though they are considered to have a lower risk of infection than adults. Health experts have indicated that asymptomatic transmission can adversely impact high-risk groups, so kids who don’t feel sick can still pass the virus to their grandparents and other family members who could become severely ill or die. There have also been reported cases of illness linked to COVID-19 said to resemble Kawasaki disease in children.

According to a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children over two-years-old should wear a face covering when in public or around people who don’t live with them. Though it’s still unknown if children will go back to school in the fall and whether there might be a face mask requirement if they do, it’s still a good idea to stock up on multiple face masks for them to wear while playing or in public.

There is also the option of making masks at home, a DIY project that a child can participate in and maybe that would bring more enthusiasm to wearing the mask. It would also likely save money which would benefit cash-strapped parents who have lost income during coronavirus lockdowns.

Good luck to parents and teachers alike in keeping the face masks on the kids.

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