Driving with a Mask
Is there such a thing as being to safe? When it comes to our health, some experts say No Way! Safe is defined as ‘free from harm or hurt”. We all want ourselves and our families to be safe.
In today’s world precautions are the forefront of every commercial, billboard, radio and news station. But how much is too much? Do I need to wear protective gloves while driving? Should I wear a mask while driving? These are questions a lot of us have.
Wearing protective gloves
Wearing protective gloves is definitely a good way to limit the spread of germs. Did you know there is a right and a wrong way to wear protective gloves? First, you want to make sure your hands are clean before evening putting the gloves on. This will help limit germs from incubating from the heat generated by our hands. You want to make sure the gloves are the right size. Your fingers should fit comfortably and the quirks, or the spaces at the base of each finger, should fit snug. This will help your gloves stay in place. The glove should cover at least to your wrist or even longer. Gloves to small can restrict your movements and gloves to large are at risk of falling off. It is important to remember that putting on a pair of gloves at the beginning of the day and not changing them reduces their ability to assist it spreading germs. Gloves themselves can become contaminated throughout your daily tasks and will need to be changed often.
When it is time to change your gloves, the most popular way to remove them are the ‘glove-in-glove’ technique. For the glove-in-glove removal, peel one glove from your hand pulling it inside out, hold that glove in your gloved hand and repeat on the other hand so that one glove is inside the other and both are turned inside out. Then dispose both gloves in appropriate receptacle and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is an acceptable alternative.
Protective gloves can provide a false sense of security. They are not a complete barrier when it comes to germs. Just like your bare hands, germs can also survive on protective gloves. So regardless if you are wearing gloves or not, if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your face, you are still risking infection. So be sure to change your gloves often.
Wearing protective gloves while driving
While there should no immediate harm in wearing protective gloves while driving, it is important to remember wearing gloves of any kind will decrease movement and sensitive in your hands and fingers somewhat. This could be anything from feeling your steering wheel to feeling the knobs or buttons on your dashboard.
If you chose to drive with protective gloves, we recommend you make sure all of your cars setting are just right before starting on your trip. Mirrors, temperature, windows, seats, even the radio station are set before putting your car in gear.
You should bring multiple pairs of gloves with you when driving. You should be prepared to change your gloves each time you enter your car from your errand. If not, you risk contaminating the inside of your car. It is also a good idea to carry spray sanitizer so you can lightly spray the interior of your car before and after you have been inside driving.
Wearing a protective mask
Just as there is a right and wrong way to wear protective gloves this is also true for wearing a protective mask. Always wash your hands before putting your mask on. Make sure your mask covers your mouth and nose. Make sure you can breathe easily.
Here are 3 tips to making sure you can breathe easily through your mask.
- Limit the amount of time you are in the sun and stay hydrated. Overheating can make it difficult to breathe and in some people it can trigger a panic attack or feeling of claustrophobia.
- Always have more than one mask with you. Whether you are inside or outside, your mask can and will become damp due to the condensation of the carbon dioxide you exhale. Having extra masks allows you to change your mask when it becomes damp.
- Concentrate on the type of material your mask is made of. If it is too thick it can restrict airflow. Select a lightweight mask that fully covers your mouth and nose. Skin irritation can also be a result from the material your mask is made from. Studies have shown that cotton is usually the best material because it causes the least amount of irritation.
Wearing a protective mask while driving
Again, while there should be no immediate harm in wearing a mask while driving, it is important to make sure that your mask fits properly, does not restrict your air flow and does not obstruct vision or hearing. Just as any accessory has the potential to be a distraction and risk, so can a mask.
Many healthcare professionals advise against wearing a mask while driving. “The risk of causing an accident is not worth to risk to the driver, the passengers, or anyone else” says Dr Gerald Harmon, Vice President of medial affairs at Tidelands Health. “If you are not around others, you do not need to wear one”. According The Legal Examiner, police responded to a car crash and found the driver who was wearing a mask passed out behind the wheel. First responders found the mask could have caused breathing problems resulting in the driver passing out.
Making sure your mask is clean, allows proper air flow, and most importantly fits appropriately is a safe way to begin your drive if you chose to wear your mask while driving.
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