Friday, April 19, 2024

12-year-old Scout invented Ear Guards to help health staff wearing masks all-day

Since the coronavirus outbreak, medical staff has to fight extra hard, where they spend more time in the hospital dealing with patients. In addition, they also have to wear medical devices such as masks, which then make their ears hurt because they have to be used for a long time.

When a Canadian hospital complained about the fact that during a pandemic, medical staff suffered all-day wearing masks and respirators, a boy named Quinn Callander rushed to help. On his 3D printer, the twelve-year-old Callander from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, created a practical accessory that can make medical workers wear masks for a long time without having to feel pain in the ears.

The accessory, called “ear guard,” holds the cords or the respirator in place of the ears to relieve the overloaded medical staff. It prevents the elastic bands on a face mask from rubbing against the backs of people’s ears.

12-year-old Scout invented Ear Guards.
12-year-old Scout invented Ear Guards. Credit: Thingiverse

The 3D printed ‘ear guard’ is a wide plastic strap that goes around the back of the head to which one could attach the elastic of the mask. It has several notches that allow the user to adjust the mask’s elastic strap to cover their face tightly but without putting pressure on their ears. The strap is made from the most commonly used plastic material for 3D printing, named polylactic acid, which is also relatively cheap.

Callander’s work on Friday was shared by his mother, Heather Roney, on social networks. So far, Callander, who is also a member of the Scout community, has produced more than 1800 straps since March 27 and distributed the initial batch to the local hospital.

To help the work of medical workers who are currently battling COVID-19, Callander’s mother invites owners of 3-dimensional printers to do the same. The young boy has made the strap’s design available for others to download from the open-source 3D printing community Thingiverse. A volunteer group that Callander works with has also printed additional 5,000 ear guards to distribute.