How to bear wearing a mask through the hot summer months

Watch: How to bear wearing a mask through the hot summer months

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Are you having problems breathing with a mask on in the heat?

You aren’t the only one.

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“If you have too much fabric on your face, you start to run into the other issue,” said Dr. Nicolas Hysmith. “You start to have health issues yourself. You can get shortness of breath, overly exerted, which is definitely not something we want.”

Dr. Hysmith is an infectious disease specialist at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

While some facial coverings feel like wearing a sweater on your face, he says they do not have to be thick to be effective.

“We don’t necessarily have to wrap something around our heads multiple times,” he said. “There are economical ways to be less burdensome to the wearer.

Dr. Hysmith said it’s not a bad idea to keep backup facial coverings, just in case yours gets sweaty, but he said, the proper transport of masks is just as important as wearing them.

“Wash your hands prior to putting on your mask the first time,” he said. “When you’re taking it off, make sure you’re careful to touch the outside of the mask, and then folding it in on itself so the inside of the mask is protected, if you’re planning on wearing that mask again. Then washing your hands afterwards.”

If you plan to reuse one, do not just shove it in your purse or pocket.

Keep a plastic bag to carry it in.

And what about masks with valves, like we see at the hardware store?

“Those masks are designed specifically to just protect the wearer in construction where there’s dust and chemicals,” Dr. Hysmith said. “When you breathe in, the valve closes and you’re protected from what’s around you, but when you breathe out, you’re just expelling your breath out into the environment.”