Ear Guards and Mask Comfort Straps

Check out the information below on how to get started

Why do we need ear guards?

The soaring number of COVID-19 patients means an increased need for front-line personnel to wear protective face masks, often for very long periods of time. Accessories such as ear guards provide an alternative to the traditional method of wearing a surgical mask with the loops secured around the backs of the ears. By reducing pressure on the ears these ear guards allow for extended periods of mask use with minimal discomfort.

What considerations should I have in mind when getting started with making ear guards?

  • If you can, please segregate the equipment that you will be using in your space away from people, pets, bathrooms, or food preparation surfaces.
  • There is still debate about how long the virus survives on hard industrial surfaces, but it is currently estimated that COVID-19 can live on hard industrial surfaces (metal, plastic, and glass) for up to 3 days. If you have access to sanitizing solutions, including diluted bleach, 70% alcohol solution, or products like Star-San or Odo-Ban, please disinfect your tools and equipment before and after each item is made. You can also let packed items sit for 3 days before distributing, as another mechanism to reduce the risk of transmission.

What projects can I get involved with to make Ear Guards?

Project Name: Mask Comfort Strap (NIH-reviewed for clinical use)

This design has undergone review in a clinical setting by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and is recommended when fabricated as instructed.

Specialized Equipment (Required): 3D Printer

Notes:
-See website for more information. Designs approved by the NIH are recommended as a first choice.

Project Name: Surgical Mask Tension Release Band for Ear Comfort & Extended Use (NIH-reviewed for clinical use)

This design has undergone review in a clinical setting by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and is recommended when fabricated as instructed.

Specialized Equipment (Required): 3D Printer

Notes:
-See website for more information. Designs approved by the NIH are recommended as a first choice.

Project Name: Surgical Mask Band for Ear Comfort – Extra Security – V2 (NIH-reviewed for clinical use)

This design has undergone review in a clinical setting by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and is recommended when fabricated as instructed.

Specialized Equipment (Required): 3D Printer

Notes:
-See website for more information. Designs approved by the NIH are recommended as a first choice.

Project Name: Lasercut Origami Ear Extender

Specialized Equipment (Required): Laser cutter

Notes:
-The fastening strap for the Origami face shield was modified to become an ear saver
-This design is laser cut, which can be faster and cheaper than 3DP, and lays flat against the head
-A scrub cap can be worn over this design
-The deep-cut grooves hold mask loops securely

This information was produced in collaboration with OSCMS. Click here for more information and documentation.