Helping Your Kids Get Used To Masks
Wearing a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor places is one of the most effective measures of protecting yourself against the new coronavirus. It’s a measure of safety for your health, for the health of your family, and for slowing down the spread of the virus.
At first, masks were only recommended for doctors and nurses, but now they are used by the general population as well, including children. For them, it’s something new and unusual, and some kids might get scared when they have to put on a mask or when they see others wearing one.
So it is important for adults to:
- Explain what masks are and what they are used for
- Show them that other people and other kids are wearing them too
- Answer any of their questions
- Give them support
- Make them fun to use through games or by using personalized masks
How Kids React To Masks?
This usually depends on their age. For example, older kids might not react that much and masks will not seem like a big deal. They will adapt pretty fast. Some of them will even be curious to wear a mask just like one of their favorite doctors or superheroes.
But for younger kids, the process can be more difficult. They might be more cautious at first and need some time to adjust. In these moments it is important for the parent or caregiver to comfort them verbally, to tell them that it’s ok and it’s for their own health and wellbeing. You can even “bribe” them with their favorite dessert or toy.
Why Do Some Kids Feel Scared?
Unfortunately, some kids will start to cry, will hide their faces, or cling to their parents. From a very young age, children look at faces for signals to feel safe. Even if they don’t understand the words others tell them, they can understand the body language and facial expressions.
But masks partially cover the face, and kids can no longer see the familiar look of their parents or someone close, or the friendly smile on people’s faces. And when this happens, it’s natural for them to feel scared.
But with lots of patience and soothing words, children can feel more comfortable in time and learn that what seemed scary at first is not scary at all.
How To Help Kids Wear A Mask?
First of all, it is important to mention that kids under the age of 2 or that have breathing problems should not wear a mask. But for the rest, wearing a mask can protect their health and slow the spread of the virus. Here’s what to do to help them get used with wearing a mask:
- Teach them how to put the mask on and how to take it off safely
- Ask them to practice this at home multiple times, even before having to go outside
- Encourage them to color or decorate their mask. This can make the process more fun and will make them want to wear the mask even more. Allow them to draw with markers or put small stickers on, just make sure that they don’t pierce or deteriorate it
- Get them involved in the process. If you create cloth face masks at home, have the kids help you with the process. If they are too young to do so, get them to choose the fabric or the color
- Introduce a sense of play. Have the young kids to pretend like they are a doctor or a nurse when wearing the mask. You can also use a doctor kit and get them to take care of a doll or stuffed animal
- Introduce masks during their usual playtime. For example, you can put a mask on a doll or stuffed animal and have the kids to talk with them about this. Make them ask questions about why the doll is wearing a mask, and answer them in order to clear up any confusion
- Explain the upside. Tell them the good parts and how the mask can stop the virus, rather than talking about the negative aspects and the problems it can cause
- Let them show what they know. When talking to someone, have the kids explain with their own words why they wear a mask and what other things they do to stop the virus. For example, you can have them to demonstrate how they wash their hands
- Accept their reaction. This applies especially for young kids that get scared when wearing a mask or when seeing others wearing one
- Comfort, soothe and support them to make them feel safe
- Make them laugh, as laughing is relaxing and reduces the stress caused by the masks
- Ask them to draw about it. By drawing people wearing masks, they will better accept that this is the new normality
Masks for Children
When it comes to the young ones, the mask needs to fit their face perfectly, so not any mask will do the job. But luckily, our masks for children are back in store! Get yours today HERE - Kids Face Mask