Teenager replaces smile hidden by mask

Keira Bowman designing the PPE visor inserts

Lytham schoolgirl, Keira Bowman really wanted to help when she heard the masks and visors clinicians have to wear during the Coronavirus pandemic might frighten children.

And what makes the 16-year-old’s visors extra special is that each one depicts a smile to replace the one hidden by the surgical mask.

Keira, a pupil at AKS Lytham, decided to put her artistic talents to great use after talking to her aunt, Jackie McKay, a Specialist Practitioner at Blenheim Child Development Centre, who said the PPE clinicians have to wear poses a challenge as a masked face can be frightening.

Keira said, “To make the PPE less frightening and more appealing to children, I gave the designs a storybook feel and each one features a smile to replace the one hidden by the use of a facemask.  My aim was to make the PPE look fun to help staff connect with the children”.

Keira created three different designs, a dinosaur, rainbow and unicorn, then produced 700 laminates by cutting the images to shape, laminating and fitting them to PPE visors. They will be used by local NHS children’s community teams during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The three designs each showing a smile

Head of Children’s Community Services, Diane Booth, said: “The service really appreciates the work that Keira has undertaken to help children and young people who are attending health services to see past the scary visors and face masks that staff need to wear due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The art work is attached to the visors that staff wear when seeing children to make them look more child friendly and help children engage with them more easily.”

“We are incredibly grateful to Keira for helping us with these and we are impressed by how she engaged the local community to support her project,” Diane added.

Keira secured the kind help of Wendy Janes at ZPQ Designs, St Annes, who provided printing services for free to support the NHS, she even enlisted the help of her cousin Erin McKay to bake cakes for staff too!

The images have been attached to transparent visors which were kindly donated by BAE, Montgomery High School in Bispham and Drew Thompson from Thompson and Hardwicks Optometrists in Lytham.

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