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Is wearing a mask in hot temperatures bad for your health?

Doctors say it may be uncomfortable, but it's still the safest and healthiest option.

MACON, Ga. — Governor Brian Kemp is touring cities across the Peach State this week, promoting mask wearing ahead of Independence Day. 

He's encouraging Georgians to continue listening to advice from public health officials during the pandemic.

We asked Dr. Obi Ekeledo with Coliseum Hospital what you should do to protect yourself if you're planning to be outside in the hot weather this holiday weekend.

Q: If people have breathing problems, should they still wear a mask?

A: There are a few people a mask would be bad for -- that's children younger than the age of 2 and patients that are unable to move a mask if they're having difficulty breathing -- but overall, if you can breathe in through a mask, then you can exhale out of it, so they're generally safe. The benefits of wearing a mask far outweigh the risk of transmitting COVID.

Q: What about wearing a mask in extreme heat? Some people say it feels restricting and gives them anxiety.

A: "It's true that masks may cause some anxiety especially in the heat.  However, they are still safe to wear. Like I said, if you can breathe in through a mask, you can breathe out. You may feel anxious and occasionally if you feel short of breath—if you're appropriately socially distanced and at least 6 feet away then it's OK to remove the mask temporarily.

Q: Should people wear them at the pool or out on a lake?

A: "It's definitely important to wear these masks outside, on a lake, or in a pool. Again, as long as you're in 6 feet of another individual you should definitely be wearing a mask

Q: Should disposable masks only be worn once?

A: "It's recommended that disposable masks are used once and then be thrown away, so I would use a different mask and then go out in public, or if your mask gets wet, you should also get a new one." 

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