Does your child still need to wear a face mask at school? Up-to-date rules across Canada

·Shopping & Lifestyle Editor
·5-min read
face masks, group of children in classroom wearing face masks with teacher helping them put on face masks
Back to school 2022: Does your child still need to wear a face mask? (Photo via Getty)

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Across Canada, students and staff are gearing up to head back to the classroom; however, unlike in recent years, face masks are no longer mandatory in most public and private schools.

Nevertheless, if you or a loved one is immunocompromised, unvaccinated, or nervous about back-to-school germs, you may find yourself searching for a kid-friendly mask come September.

What are the current rules and regulations around face masks and vaccinations for kids in school in Canada?

As of July 14, 2022, Health Canada approved the Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine for children aged six months to five years old. As of July 22, nearly 56 per cent of children aged five to 11 have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Across Canada, 85 per cent of the total population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, there are no overarching vaccine mandates for children in Canada. However, certain sectors still have their own masking and vaccine requirements. Transport Canada, for example, still requires face masks when boarding a flight or train in Canada. While not mandated, the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that all children six months of age and older be vaccinated against COVID-19.

In general, face masks are no longer required to attend in-person learning. Nevertheless, it's important to double-check your provincial mask requirements and exceptions before heading to class.

little girl getting covid 19 vaccine in arm by nurse in blue scrubs, face masks
The latest on vaccines and face masks: As of July 14, 2022, Health Canada approved the Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine for children aged six months to five years old. (Photo via Getty)

COVID-19: Health and safety measures at schools by jurisdiction

Here are the current health and safety measures across Canada, as of Aug. 17.

While provincial health systems no longer mandate face masks in the classroom, for parents and students who prefer to cover up, dozens of terrific options are still available. According to reviewers, these are some of the best non-medical face masks for children in 2022.

Wearing a non-medical face mask does not replace hygiene standards or guarantee protection from COVID-19. You should still avoid touching your face, wash your hands frequently using warm water and soap and practice social distancing.

According to reviewers, these are the best face masks for kids in Canada in 2022

Cotton Face Masks, 3-Pack

two floral face masks and one blue face mask on white background with pom poms, Cotton Face Masks, 3-Pack (Photo via Etsy)
Cotton Face Masks, 3-Pack (Photo via Etsy)

These three-layer face masks are made of 100 per cent cotton and come backed by a whopping 1,600 reviews. The middle layer is a filter pocket that can be used to add a disposable filter insert, if desired.

$6 $20 at Etsy

TangibleComfy Kids Face Masks

Disney printed kids face masks, frozen elsa anna printed kids face masks
TangibleComfy Kids Face Masks (Photo via Etsy)

These three-layer cotton face masks are UV-resistant and comfortable for all-day wear. Plus, with design options including "Frozen," "Spiderman," and Disney graphics, your kids won't mind keeping them on throughout the day.

$10 $12 at Etsy

Viva Naturals Kids Face Masks 50-Pack

The best face masks for kids in Canada: Viva Naturals Kids Face Masks 50-pack (Photo via Amazon)
The best face masks for kids in Canada: Viva Naturals Kids Face Masks 50-pack (Photo via Amazon)

Collecting more than 17,000 ratings, these child-friendly face masks have won the coveted spot of "Amazon's Choice" for kid's face masks. The four-ply non-medical masks are available in six designs, including a transportation-themed pack.

$16 $20 at Amazon

3M N95 Masks

3M N95 Masks in white with yellow elastics (Photo via Amazon)
3M N95 Masks (Photo via Amazon)

Ideal for older children and teenagers, this 10-pack of N95 masks has earned over 13,000 reviews from Amazon shoppers who call it a "great product, full stop."

$28 $30 at Amazon

Disposable 3-Ply Masks, 24-Count

little girl with pig tails wearing pink shirt holding smiley face mask on face, Disposable 3-Ply Masks, 24-Count (Photo via Amazon)
Disposable 3-Ply Masks, 24-Count (Photo via Amazon)

This 24-pack of disposable face masks comes with three layers of protection: non-woven filter ply + fiber ply + soft cotton. The pack has earned nearly 4,500 reviews from Amazon shoppers and an average rating of 4.4 stars.

$12 at Amazon

LETOUR Children Full Cover Face Shield Visor

The best face masks for kids in Canada: LETOUR Children Full Cover Face Shield Visor (Photo via Amazon)
The best face masks for kids in Canada: LETOUR Children Full Cover Face Shield Visor (Photo via Amazon)

This non-medical adjustable face shield visor is made from anti-fog PET material and is designed to cushion the forehead with a soft sponge interior. "My five-year-old son wears this to school every day and it perfectly covers his face," writes one reviewer.

$24 at Amazon

Athleta Girl Adjustable Everyday Non-Medical Masks

Athleta Girl Adjustable Everyday Non Medical Masks (Photo via Athleta)
Athleta Girl Adjustable Everyday Non Medical Masks (Photo via Athleta)

An assortment of five colours comes in each pack of these comfortable non-medical face masks. "These are the only masks my kids wear," writes one parent. "They fit nicely and are adjustable."

$10 $25 at Athleta

Fog-Free 3D Mask

young girl wearing jean jacked and yellow dress with face mask
Fog-Free 3D Mask (Photo via Etsy)

A great option for glasses-wearers, this fog-free face mask is made from double-layered 100 per cent Egyptian cotton and is available in more than 60 colours and prints.

$10 $12 at Etsy

Purity Protective Kids Face Shield

two little boys wearing plastic face shields playing with play doh
Purity Protective Kids Face Shield (Photo via Amazon)

These kid-friendly face shields are built with sturdy, durable, and powerful PET-based materials and have earned an average rating of 4.5 stars from Amazon reviewers. "Comfortable, well made, and good protection!" Raves one shopper.

$22 $25 at Amazon

Premium Small 3-Layer Face Masks

photo collage of woman wearing face masks, Premium Small 3-Layer Face Masks (Photo via Etsy)
Premium Small 3-Layer Face Masks (Photo via Etsy)

According to one Etsy shopper, this cotton face mask is "literally perfect." Even with a "small face," the mask "fit me perfectly," they write. Adding, the quality is "excellent" and the designs are "beautiful."

$7 at Etsy

Flowfold Kids Face Shields

Kids Face Shields (Photo via Flowfold)
Kids Face Shields (Photo via Flowfold)

Available in a two-pack, four-pack, and ten-pack, parents say this top-rated face shield is a "comfortable option" for school-aged children. "The kids feel like superheroes in their shields," writes one reviewer.

$17 at Flowfold

Kids Over the Head Elastic Face Mask

The best face masks for kids in Canada: Kids Over the Head Elastic Face Mask (Photo via Etsy)
The best face masks for kids in Canada: Kids Over the Head Elastic Face Mask (Photo via Etsy)

With more than 2,100 reviews backing it, parents describe this over-the-head face mask as "nice and soft" and say "the head strap seems to be much easier for the kiddo to keep on than ear straps." The kid-friendly mask comes in a variety of sizes and patterns.

$10 $12 at Etsy

Double Layered Cloth Face Mask

The best face masks for kids in Canada: Double Layered Cloth Face Mask (Photo via Etsy)
The best face masks for kids in Canada: Double Layered Cloth Face Mask (Photo via Etsy)

This non-medical face covering is designed for children ages four to 12 and is made from soft, breathable cotton.

$24 at Etsy

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