Children across the country are returning to school amid a chorus of medical concerns, uncertainty and anxiety. It will be a long road for students, parents, school leaders and public health officials as comprehensive safety protocols are developed in tandem with the ever-changing reality of COVID-19. In the meantime, it is important for each of us to do our part to keep our communities safe, and help cultivate a clean, secure environment for children to learn and grow.
The risks associated with in-person learning are especially concerning for Dr. Gabrielle Page-Wilson, mother and co-founder of Little Lives PPE. She feared for the safety of her 8-year-old-son who lives with asthma, and realized that the basic safety precautions adults practice—like social distancing, sanitization and mask-wearing—may be much more difficult to enforce on children. Page-Wilson confided in two friends, pediatrician Dr. Samira L. Brown and business executive Alexandra Stanton, and came to the conclusion that there was a desperate need for PPE designed specifically for children. The three joined forces, combining business expertise, medical knowledge and maternal instinct to create Little Lives PPE.
From there, Little Lives PPE developed The PediaShield™, made with nontoxic plastic and medical foam. The PediaShield™ provides optimal visibility and a soft forehead cushion for a snug, yet comfortable seal that repels viral droplets. Fitted with an adjustable elastic band, the PediaShield™ can be worn with glasses, and features a wrap-around design for full protection of the eyes, nose and mouth. For children who struggle with wearing traditional masks or have trouble keeping their hands off their faces, the PediaShield™ provides an extra layer of protection. The shields, made of durable, non-permeable material, have been shown to reduce immediate viral exposure by 96 percent at a distance of 1.5 feet, and keep skin cooler than cloth masks. Shields are available in both Mini for children aged 2 to 6, and Mega, designed for ages 7 and up. Little Lives PPE has partnered with Atlanta Children’s Shelter and Win (which provides family shelters and supportive housing in NYC) to provide face shields for children in need, with the option to donate a mask when shopping online. littlelivesppe.com