Covid-19 protection proves an unexpected hazard for spectacled Christchurch man

Wearing face masks isn't straightforward for people with glasses. Photo: Facebook
Wearing face masks isn't straightforward for people with glasses. Photo: Facebook
An elderly Christchurch shopper who tripped on the pavement outside a city supermarket because his glasses had fogged up while he was wearing his Covid mask has prompted a safety message.

Simon Templeton. Photo: Supplied
Simon Templeton. Photo: Supplied
Age Concern Canterbury chief executive Simon Templeton said the incident was a timely reminder for people – of all ages – to wear masks as safely and effectively as possible.

"The fogging up of glasses is an issue we’ve heard of," he said.

"It’s not surprising there are some falls related to people with reduced eyesight and perhaps reduced mobility.

"It just adds that extra risk and challenge to people mobilising safely,” he said.

The shopper fell outside Countdown at Church Corner earlier this month but was not seriously injured.

Templeton said it is important people who wear glasses ensure their masks are fitted correctly before venturing out.

"I’ve been told to twist the ear straps and hook them over your ears," he said.

"Apparently that prevents the glasses fogging up. It must direct the flow of air in a slightly different direction."

Positioning your glasses over the bridge of your mask is another recommendation. A pharmacist also said disposable masks with wire across the nose were more effective than washable fabric designs because the wire could be pinched to make the mask as snug as possible.

Anti-fog spray, like swimmers use on goggles, can also work. Slowing your walking pace and being more aware of potential hazards are among the recommendations from the Health Quality and Safety Commission.

St John ambulance and Canterbury District Health Board do not have specific records of mask-related injuries during the current Covid-19 restrictions.

But ACC data revealed 20 claims had been lodged in Canterbury this year up to September 30. Just eight were made over the entirety of 2020. Nationally there were 106 claims last year and 107 have been made to date in 2021. 

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