GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis has urged all Coloradans to wear face masks in public to try to control the spread of the coronavirus. But the elastic on many of the nose and mouth coverings can be painful on the ears.
Now, a mother and daughter in Greenwood Village are offering a 3D way to give essential workers some relief.
“We’re so grateful for their service,” said Sandra Ramirez of those on the front lines of fighting COVID-19.
So Sandra and her daughter, Aniyah Salaz, have been doing their part by helping health care workers relieve the pressure that goes with wearing a protective mask for hours.
“They rub against their ears so much that one doctor described his ears as being raw by the end of the day,” Sandra told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
To help, the duo has been churning out ear savers.
Sandra is an elementary school STEAM teacher with Cherry Creek Schools. She brought the classroom 3D printer home during the pandemic.
Eleven-year-old Aniyah is a Scout.
They got the idea of making the plastic bands from a Scout in Canada whose mom shared the file he was using in a Facebook post. The bands are simple to use.
You put them around your head like that,” Aniyah demonstrated by showing the back of her head.
Then she explained you loop the elastic on your mask to the most comfortable notch on the band. The elastic is rerouted.
“It goes around your ears, rather than on your ears,” Aniyah said.
The pair can print just six of the plastic ear savers every four hours.
“So, if one of us gets up in the middle of the night we’ll hit the button again, and let it reprint,” said Sandra.
So far, they’ve distributed about 300 among hospital and pharmacy workers.
“Every time we drop one off we get orders for more,” said Sandra.
Sandra and Aniyah plan to keep printing the ear savers, as long as people need them. In their high tech household, it’s their way to help.