By Catherine P. Cook WPICC, CWD of Matilyn and Maple Leaf Shield
Hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe during this unprecedented and difficult time. I say unprecedented, but if you look back in somewhat recent history, almost exactly 100 years after the 1918 flu pandemic—was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. Lasting from February 1918 to April 1920, the major worldwide virus was overcome.
Just like any moment in time when something that literally stops you in your tracks happens, you will always remember that moment. I remember thinking back to mid-March when I was enjoying my morning coffee (guilty pleasure 😉 and watching TSN (via PVR)—the very unexpected, in my mind, an announcement was made that the NCAA was cancelling March Madness. For those who have never experienced this super awesome time of year when you are fortunate enough to experience—watching basketball greatness in-the-making…we will have to plan for next year as I have a feeling, it will be Epic!
Even though I realized very quickly I would not get to watch great live basketball for a while because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were hearing the demand for certain medical devices, including PPE, exceeded the available supply in Canada. As a team of skilled designers who excel at R&D with the drive and desire to help…well we did just that!
Health Canada recognized the need for organizations to seek innovative manufacturing approaches to produce PPE (including Face Shields) for frontline health workers, but there are technical considerations that must meet certain regulatory standards to ensure they are safe, effective and of high quality.
As we all must do our part, you may wonder “How would a PPE Face Shield help protect against enveloped viruses?” Face shields are essential personal protective equipment to protect facial area and associated mucous membranes (e.g. eyes) against splashes, sprays, and body fluids by providing a protective barrier. In plain terms, a layered approach is best when you are considered high risk or in a high risk situation, like our Healthcare workers, Doctors, Nurses etc. In general, Health & Safety guidelines advise to use N95 masks with additional PPE to keep people safe and PPE has really only been reserved for Healthcare professionals, but times have changed, at least for now. The wedding industry is thankfully a less risky work environment plus we are all very anxious to get back to work!
Let’s be honest, no one really wants to wear any PPE and/or makeshift type-of-face covering, but with the “new normal,” quickly becoming…well…normal, the world economy starting to reopen, is under great economic pressure. As professionals, we need to do what we can to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe.
With a wide variety of products quickly emerging on the market, safety and quality must be a top priority. Rest assured, the Maple Leaf Shield complies with the test criteria established by Health Canada based on CSA standards.
In developing the face shield, we wanted to ensure our product maximized safety as well as comfort for the wearer and solved some of the common challenges that mask wearers are facing such as:
- Masks do not protect all of the facial area mucous membranes (i.e. eyes)
- Materials in some masks may not offer adequate protection
- Mask discomfort – fogging glasses, hot to wear, itchy, pain in the face or behind the ears
- Difficulty in communication – hard to speak clearly, read lips or hear
As a results, there are 12 core benefits of the Maple Leaf Shield:
- Effectively protects the full face
- So light you can actually forget you are wearing the Maple Leaf Shield (which is a good thing!)
- Limited glare
- UV resistant
- Made from high-quality acrylics to ensure safety when in contact with skin
- Comes with reusable packaging to store the shield in
- Ease of communication – doesn’t muffle sound or hinder the ability to read lips
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy to clean
- Reusable and recyclable
Plus it’s very exciting to be able to wear lipgloss again! 🙂
It is recommended PPE is never shared, and as a Design Studio we solved this problem by incorporating names into the final design (when requested) on both the Headgear and Face Shield to make it easy for identification, which is especially important after each use and cleaning. We can also customize with an illustration drawn by one of our inhouse designers or brand your company logo. An idea we thought of, as artists—we can imagine putting a little fun and style into the exterior design of the shield adding that special couple’s crest or subtle illustration—a way of customizing a wedding or event that much more, while keeping everyone safe.
At Maple Leaf Shield our mission is to help communities continue to safeguard their health, businesses protect their workers and ultimately contribute to flattening the curve. #BetterTogether
Are you WPIC Alumni? If so, please check out our very special offer just for you on the WPIC Alumni site.
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