Because of back-to-school, children may have to wear masks for much longer periods of time than they have experienced. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends getting your child used to a mask before they need to wear it in public or in school. Here are some tips from them:
- Face masks significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Teaching children this can help them understand the importance of wearing a mask to be safe. Explain in simple terms that we are protecting ourselves against germs.
- Practice wearing a mask at home and even practice having a toy or stuffed animal wear it. This can help children to get comfortable with masks.
- Let kids decorate their own masks so they feel they are personalized and special to them.
- Show them photos of other kids wearing masks so they see it as the normal thing to do.
- Make sure their mask fits properly around the ears and is snug enough.
- Remember to teach them to wash their hands before and after wearing a mask, and not to touch it while wearing it. Practice wearing it for longer stretches of time can really help kids adjust to this new habit.
- Model wearing masks for your children, so they will see this as part of a normal routine.
For more information, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website.