BANGOR, Mich. (WOOD) — A Southwest Michigan business is now making reusable face shields especially created for kids in local schools.
Barber Packaging developed the product just last week and is already beginning the production process.
Luke Barber, the president of the company, says the shields have been approved for use in schools by the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department and replace the need for a separate shield and face covering.
This type of shield is especially helpful for students who have challenges with wearing a traditional mask.
“The superintendent of a local district was having trouble with at-risk kids and special needs kids with the face coverings, and so they were looking for an alternative method to allow those kids to return to school safely,” Barber said.
The shields have a non-woven polypropylene fabric sewn around the base to cover the neck and catch respiratory droplets. Barber says the same material is used to make surgical masks.
The company started making face shields at the beginning of the pandemic because packaging orders were expected to drop from their clients in the automotive industry.
“Once we got into face shields, we had a couple of different people approach us with different needs. We’ve developed shields around those needs, and so we’ve always been very flexible to respond to people’s specific needs,” Barber said.
While many of the big orders being made for hospitals have tapered off, the company is still seeing a demand.
“Now we’re meeting the need at a much more local level,” Barber said.
Barber Packaging works with a partner company in Grand Rapids to sew on the fabric that covers the neck.
“As the word gets out about this shield and as the health directors from the local districts start to meet with other health directors across the state, we believe there will be an increased demand for this kind of product,” Barber said.
The shields range from $12 to $15, depending on the quantity purchased.
The company created a new website to sell directly to customers.