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For most parents, keeping their children safe is one of their top priorities during a pandemic. While adults understand the importance of social distancing and handwashing, children under a certain age find it difficult to grasp why they can’t hug their friends anymore. To help slow the spread of the virus, many parents encourage their children to wear face masks while they’re out in public. While face masks won’t block 100% of molecules, they can help stop the slow of particles that are expelled into the air through coughing or sneezing.

Face masks might make people safer, but they’re not necessarily comfortable. One of the most common complaints is that the loops that go around the ears can make the ears itchy–particularly for people who have to wear a mask all day. This is a particularly big problem for children, who don’t have the patience for even the slightest discomfort. If they feel uncomfortable while wearing a mask at school all day, they’ll be much more likely to take it off and risk infecting themselves or others.

To make masks more comfortable, many artists and craftspeople have started selling a different type of mask that ties around the back of the head instead of looping around the ears. In the mornings, the parent places the mask over their child’s mouth and nose and ties the strings behind their head, like they’re tying their shoelaces in the morning. If the child is old enough, learning to tie their own mask can be a good way to teach them independence and responsibility. The child will feel more comfortable throughout the day, and the parent can rest assured knowing that their child is less likely to tear off their mask while they’re at school.

Additionally, while some kids might object to wearing a surgical-style mask, behind-the-head masks come in a variety of child-friendly designs and colors. Parents can buy safe, comfortable cloth masks from websites like Etsy and have them shipped directly to their house. While some masks are made from basic fabric, others have special additions like adjustable elastic and pouches for filters.

In the middle of a pandemic, few things are more important than protecting the next generation. Fortunately, the Internet has made various types of face masks accessible to anyone with an Internet connection and a little free time.