Whenever I heard of a virus outbreak, my heart skipped a beat. It’s ‘a scary time’ for parents, especially those with young children. From SARS to MERS, the world is facing yet another emerging infectious disease.
MERS — Middle East respiratory syndrome — is in the same family of coronaviruses as SARS, which killed at least 750 people after it emerged in China in late 2002. It was confirmed in Saudi Arabia in September 2012. Since then, it has infected 1,154 people and claimed at least 434 lives, according to the World Health Organization. There is no known cure for MERS, and the origins and transmission of the virus are still unknown.
On May 20, South Korea’s Health Ministry confirmed its first case of MERS in a 68-year-old man who had travelled to Saudi Arabia for about three weeks. Since then, the man’s wife and others who came into contact with the patient have been infected. On June 4, South Korea shut 700 schools in MERS virus panic after two people were killed and five more cases were confirmed.
In a world where illness is only a plane ride away, MERS is fast becoming a global health problem. Should I be worried? Yes. Should I be prepared? Certainly yes! We need to be more vigilant and prepare ourselves with N95 protective face mask – before the first case is detected in Singapore and send everyone into a frenzy hunting for face mask.
What are the common problems that we find in face masks?
1. Surgical masks and paper masks are too thin, and they do not provide adequate protection and proper seal around the face.
2. Respiratory masks like N95 requires a lot of respiratory effort to breathe through them, and prolonged use can cause headaches (from lack of oxygen) as well as pressure effects on the skin and ear lobes.
3. Face masks in the market today often come in one standard size, and thus, they don’t adequately protect all wearers especially children.
And the major problem for many parents is – not all kids like to wear face mask. Some of them are put off by the discomfort of wearing these masks, and some may even felt breathless as they’re unable to breathe properly through these masks.
Personally, I feel “suffocated” easily when I wear a N95 mask for a long period. Heat, moisture and carbon dioxide trapped within the mask caused huge discomfort and breathing difficulties. This is the reason why most N95 masks in the market are not suitable for children and the elderly. In addition, they’re not appropriately sized for children.
Today, I’m so excited to have the next generation of protective N95 face mask landed on my desk for review. In view of the recent MERS outbreak, they came at the right time!
Innovated in Singapore by Innosparks, a ST Engineering Subsidiary, AIR+ Smart Mask is world’s first Smart Mask with breakthrough innovation in micro ventilator and mask design, and also specially designed for Asian faces.
Here are 5 things you need to know about AIR+ Smart Mask:
1. AIR+ Smart Mask comes in two components – an AIR+ Micro Ventilator (battery-operated and reusable up to 2 years) and Smart Mask (3pcs in a pack with 3 sizes). They are sold separately at S$29.90 and S$7.20 respectively. AIR+ Smart Mask is now available at all Watsons Singapore and Watsons online store.
2. Smart Mask comes in three sizes that are ergonomically-designed to fit everyone in the family, including children as young as 7 years old. I always have difficulty finding a face mask that gives a neat and snug fit on Edison. The usual N95 mask is often leaking air especially around the bridge of his nose and thus, he is not well-protected against airborne pollutants. With Smart Mask, all my worries are gone! Smart Mask is first in the market that is available in three sizes S, M and L.
3. Smart Mask gives us the superior comfort and it can be flat folded for ease of carrying. Now, let’s take a close look at the Smart Mask. I’m completely won over with its plush cushioning and soft premium materials that ensure a complete seal without compromising comfort. The nose cushion materials also provide a snug fit and good seal. Most importantly, the Smart Mask’s filter fabric is easier to breathe through while attaining N95-class protection. It can be flat folded and is easy to carry around. It also comes with adjustable straps and easy to put on.
4. The AIR+ Micro Ventilator is first in the world to address common problems such as breathing difficulties, discomfort from moisture and heat, and trapped carbon dioxide that we re-inhale over and over again. I’d say this is the distinctive point of the product that appeals most to me, and I’m sure it will appeals to you too.
Now, let me share with you how the AIR+ Micro Ventilator works. It’s reusable for up to 2 years, rechargeable via USB (included with the product) and fits all Smart Mask. When fully charged, the Micro Ventilator can be used for about 2 hours, and it takes about an hour to be fully charged.
To use it, simply clip it onto Smart Mask to extract air, moisture, heat and carbon dioxide trapped within the mask. The micro fan inside AIR+ Micro Ventilator sucks out all these trapped substances that are causing huge discomfort to the wearers. Now, we can enjoy a completely new experience of wearing a protective face mask and give ourselves the total comfort and coolness that we deserve!
5. Smart Mask can be used as a standalone product or together with the battery-powered Micro Ventilator for more comfort and easier breathing. It has a one-way exhalation vent that allows the release of the air that we breathe out to escape from the mask. Micro Ventilator expels heat and moisture, and reduces the relative humidity inside the mask by up to 40%.
For the children and elderly, I’d recommend the use of the Micro Ventilator to give them more comfort, smoother and easier breathing. The Micro Ventilator can prevent dizziness and headaches by eliminating build-up of internal carbon dioxide. Even for adults, if you need to wear it for long hours or just want the extra comfort, Micro Ventilator is highly recommended. It keeps us cool and fresh with temperature drops up to 4 deg C.
How to find your correct mask size?
Smart Mask comes with an innovative sizing gauge that is printed on every box. Simply measure your face against the box, from chin to eye level and take the nearest size. Yes, it’s easy as ABC!
You can also watch the fitting video here to better understand how to put on the mask, how to check if it is the correct size and ensure that it is the right fit with no air leakages.
About 13,000 children from low-income families and children’s homes have received free AIR+ Smart Masks and AIR+ Micro Ventilators as part of Temasek Cares’ “Stay Prepared” initiative to help the Singapore community cope with emergencies. On April 8, President Tony Tan visited Melrose Home to launch the free distribution of masks to vulnerable children and demonstrated to them the correct way to wear the masks.
Let us all be prepared to protect ourselves and our families from MERS and also the annual haze with AIR+ Smart Mask, the next generation of protective face mask that gives us better protection and fresher air. I’m glad to give Edison the best protection to cope with emergencies without compromising his comfort and health.
AIR+ Smart Mask Roadshows
If you’d like to try out the AIR+ Smart Mask, head to their roadshows on 20 – 21 June 2015 at IMM, and 27 – 28 June 2015 at Northpoint. You can also visit AIR+ Smart Mask website for more details.
24-Hour Flash Giveaway on 15 Sep 2015!
Haze-proof yourself with AIR+ Smart Mask now. Unlike conventional N95 face mask, AIR+ Smart Mask is world’s first Smart Mask with breakthrough innovation in micro ventilator and mask design for better comfort and protection.
Thanks to our kind sponsor Innosparks, I have 5 sets to giveaway today! Each set contains of 3 masks with sizes S,M,L and a Micro Ventilator.
To participate, simply share this post on your Facebook wall with the caption “Win AIR+ Smart Mask” and leave a comment on this post (either on this blog or Facebook Page). Five winners will be picked randomly. Giveaway closes tomorrow (16 Sep 2015 at 3pm). Hurry up!
Update on 17 Sep 15:
The winners are:
1. Kong Meifong
2. Diana Leong
3. Evette Looi
4. Esther Ho
5. Kacie Woon