UPDATE 5-28-20: Akron Children’s Hospital is grateful to every individual and organization in our community who rallied to support our caregivers and patients during the COVID-19 crisis. Due to your generosity, we now have enough cloth masks available to bridge the gap as personal protective equipment becomes less scarce. If you have been making masks and would like to donate those you have already finished, please email COVID.Resources@akronchildrens.org. We want to thank everyone who donated to keep our providers, visitors and patients safe. We are beyond amazed with the outpouring of care from our community.
Akron Children’s Hospital’s top priority is the health and safety of our patients, staff and visitors. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Ohio and hospital beds fill up, face masks may play a large part in keeping us all safe.
Wearing a mask may potentially help slow the spread of COVID-19 when worn by someone who is sick or someone caring for a sick person. By covering the mouth and nose, it could prevent large aerosol droplets from entering or exiting the mask.
Medical-grade face masks and N95 masks are needed by our health care workers. But they are in short supply, and we must reserve their use for clinical settings. Fabric-made masks can offer some added protection and decrease the spread of the virus.
An important infection risk to Akron Children’s employees are visitors arriving to our sites without wearing masks. Additionally, the Joint Commission has recommended “Universal Masking” of everyone in healthcare settings. Beginning April 27, we will provide fabric or paper masks to visitors who need them. These masks must be worn while at any Akron Children’s location and fabric masks will be collected when exiting to be cleaned and available for other families. If our supply of medical-grade masks becomes critically low, we will also provide fabric masks to our employees.
Collaboration with Mask Our Heroes
Free cut fabric and kits are also available from MaskOurHeroes.Today by signing up on their site or by contacting Kevin Fleck: email firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 440-591-1709. Local businesses & citizens have banded together to cut out the fabric, build face mask kits, provide delivery of materials, and pick up of finished masks. Currently, they are in need of bias tape and elastic (non-latex). Their website, https://www.maskourheroes.today, has sign up forms for sewers, fabric pattern and instructions for download, and contact forms to donate materials. If you’re a business looking to provide assistance in any way, please contact Kyle Flynn to discuss: email Kyle@moonlightnstuff.com or text/call 330-515-1683.
Steps to donate DIY face masks: it might just save a life
1. Choose a pattern. Adult-sized masks are the current priority, but Akron Children’s is accepting all patterns for cloth masks. This is our preferred pattern:
2. Gather materials. Please wash all materials prior to sewing the mask, so they are preshrunk.
- Fabric: Fabric scraps should be 100% cotton. It’s helpful to have both a light and dark fabric to make it easier to tell the inside from the outside of the mask. Be sure to check out your local JoAnn Fabric and Craft stores. Some participating stores are donating free fabric, supplies and tools for face-mask donations. Free cut fabric (and instructions) is also available from MaskOurHeroes.Today by contacting Kevin Fleck: email email@example.com or text/call 440-591-1709.
- 20-inch ties: We are asking that masks are made with 4 ties (made of cotton fabric, bias tape, twill tape or cotton ribbon), although elastic will also be accepted. However, Akron Children’s is a latex-free facility.
- Sewing machine
- 3-inch wire, such as floral wire (optional)
- Measuring tape
3. Set up delivery. Email COVID.Resources@akronchildrens.org when you’re ready to donate. Tell us how many masks you are donating, along with your name and phone number. We will respond to arrange how and when to drop off the masks. For deliveries of 25 or more, Akron Children’s will pick up the donation.
Akron Children’s sincerely thanks community members and business owners who have helped us during these challenging times. We truly appreciate the outpouring of support to help ensure the safety and well-being of our health care teams, so we can continue to provide care within our local communities. If you prefer to make a financial donation, please go to: http://bit.ly/giveakronchildrens