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How to use an N-95 mask


What mask should I use?

White duck-bill mask: This is an N-95 mask. It must be used when directed by the medical team to protect your child from airborne infectious germs (mold and bacteria). Other masks do not provide the same level of protection and should not be used.

face mask - side view
Face mask - front view
  • Use for a low ANC (absolute neutrophil count)
  • Change when wet or dirty, or every 7 days

Do not use other cloth masks that are not approved by your child’s medical team.

Yellow mask: This is not an N-95 mask. It is for general use for patients, parents, and visitors. If your child has low counts, do not use the yellow mask. Use the white duck-bill mask instead. This mask may also be used in pre-op areas. This mask is for short-term use and should be replaced often. One time use.

uellow mask
  • General use for parents, visitors, and patients with good counts
  • Wear if you have cough or cold symptoms
  • Change often
  • One-time use

How to correctly put on a mask

  1. Make sure you have the correct size. The white duck-bill N-95 mask comes in 2 sizes, small and regular. Make sure the mask securely covers the nose and chin without open side gaps that could allow non-filtered air to enter.
  2. Pull the headbands over the head with both hands. Do not dangle either of the bands. Both bands must be placed behind the head to ensure proper fit and to make sure air is filtered correctly. You may place the bands together in a cloth band cover, then place over the head if this is more comfortable.
  3. Using both hands, squeeze the nosepiece to fit around the bridge of the nose. Adjust until you have a
    secure fit.
pull headband over head
Tighten nosepiece


If you have questions about wearing a mask, talk to your child’s medical team. Remember not all masks are the same, and some offer more protection than others. Although masks that you can purchase may be more stylish, they do not provide your child with the best protection from airborne germs (mold and bacteria).


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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