Face Masks and Children
Article By: The Kids Mask
How in the world do you keep a mask on a headstrong toddler or sneaky pre-schooler?
We can start by practicing wearing masks and not touching them at home before you venture out into the world, children who aren’t familiar with masks may fidget with them, causing them to touch their faces more than they normally would.
Here are some tips we have research and come up with:
Regardless of your child’s age, be honest about why masks are important. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail, and you should keep it age-appropriate, but be open with your kids about the coronavirus.
Explain to them that wearing a mask helps keep the people around them safe. Resist the urge to dramatize the situation or to share more information than is needed.
Superhero costume mask
If your child wants to be a nurse or doctor when they grow up, show them pictures of those in the medical field wearing masks. Even policemen and firemen wear masks these days. They can pretend to be one of these professionals while wearing their masks.
Mask for teddy
Some children may be more likely to wear a mask if their “buddy” wears one too. So, if your child has a favorite teddy bear, a doll they take everywhere, or another favorite toy, make a mask for them as well. Then, when you go out, their buddy can come along as long as they are wearing their mask too.
Wearing a mask is a new experience for most children. So, the first few times your kids wear a mask, they may complain that it’s scratchy or that they cannot breathe. In fact, most children won’t like the idea of wearing a mask.
For this reason, try out the mask at home. Have your child wear it for 30 minutes. Practice putting it on safely and not touching it once it’s in place. Afterward, talk to your kids about how it felt to wear it. And if needed, make adjustments to the mask while still ensuring that it fits properly.
Sometimes kids respond positively to doing something they dread when they know there is a treat at the end. As a result, you can incentivize your kids to wear their masks and provide them with something to look forward to when they get home.
Another option for motivating your kids to wear a mask is to turn it into a game. Just like the “no talking game” or the “who can go the longest without blinking” game, create a game out of wearing masks. For instance, have everyone start with 10 points. Every time someone touches their mask to adjust it, they lose a point. By the time you get home, the person with the most remaining points wins the game.
Make it as creative and fun for you and your child!