12-year-old scout helps hospitals with innovative ear guards

12-year-old scout helps hospitals with innovative ear guards

Most of us will weather the Covid-19 crisis from the safety of our homes. Camping out on our sofas as we watch health care workers around the world in full PPE tending to patients. At this distance we can never truly understand the pain of wearing such garb for a good 12 hours or more. Some healthcare workers have testified that you are drenched with sweat within minutes of donning the full protective garb. Instagram and other social channels have been flooded with images of health care workers who are battle-scarred with wearing protective face wear and masks. So much so that the brand Dove was opportunistic enough to launch a campaign around this. But this is not that story. This is tale of a young boy scout who heard from his local hospital that wearing a mask all day was a literal pain in the ear for its practicing residents.

Quinn Callander is that 12-year-old boy scout in question who hails from Vancouver Canada. The Canadian boyscout motto is “Do your best” and Quinn has done the organization proud with a simple solution to mask burn. Using his 3D Printer he has created a mask guard. A simple plastic strip whose design has been shared openly for anyone to use. Its purpose – to take the load and stress of the ears of anyone who happens to need to wear a mask all day. It’s simple, it’s brilliant. It will earn its place in history like all the other pain saving solutions that we take for granted today. Like the paper clip.

Quinn experimented with several designs before landing on one that works brilliantly. Allowing the wearer to adjust the straps using notches and allowing it to fit masks snugly on heads of different sizes. He has printed over 2000 strips so far and urges people with the resources to pitch in. To that effect, he has released the design of this mask on the opensource platform Thingverse where owners of 3D printers can download the necessary files to create their own ear guards and help hospitals in need. The design has already been downloaded over 50,000 times.

In these testing times it is stories like these that resonate the fact that any one of us can make a world of a difference if we dare to help with whatever skills and talents we have at our disposal.