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How to Help Your Child Wear a Mask

How to Help Your Child Wear a Mask

 

 

Your children are home, but they are hearing about the coronavirus (COVD-19) from everyone around them.  Now, even if they have to step out of the home, wearing a mask is critical.  Research is still going on how it affects little children and so more reason to be careful.

 

Wearing a mask is a very big change.  It is easy to forget about it when stepping out or can be suffocating.  Your child’s tendency might be to remove it.  But here are some of our useful tips for helping your child get used to wearing a mask when stepping out of the home.

 

 

Slow, but consistent change matters.

Start by having our child wear a mask for short periods of time at home first.  Increase the time slowly but consistently.  Start by practicing at home at regular intervals.

 

Be a role model.

If your child sees you wear a mask, then they are sure to follow.  If they see you not wearing a mask when stepping out of the home, you may encounter lots of resistance.

 

Play and explore the mask. We cannot emphasize this enough.

Children learn best through play.  First, introduce your child to the mask in a playful manner.  Make them feel like they will become a powerful superhero if they wear the mask.  If necessary, create a small mask for their favorite stuffed toy animal too!  The more your child sees this as something playful, they more likely they are to adopt it.

 

Make your child feel like the mask “belongs” to them.

Have them color it and play with it.  You can even go as far as creating a separate space in their room for their mask that no one can tough.  Help them customize it with colors, stickers and other crafts.  If you have the option, you can even buy cloth with playful characters they like and make them a new mask at home.

 

Make your child feel like wearing a mask is a normal thing.

You can start by wearing one yourself daily.  Putting one on your child’s toy can also go a long way so that they are protected too!  Play peek-a-boo with the mask or play paint the mask.  You can even take mask selfies and show it to your child.

 

Practice matters.

Set up a time daily to practice wearing the mask.  At home, tell your child it is only practice.  Help your child wear the mask on their own – bring it up to their nose first and then gently place it around their ears.

 

Create a mask space by the door and a sticker chart.

Place all your family’s mask in a dedicated space by the door.  Also place a sticker chart for your child.  Every time your child remembers to wear a mask, reward them with a sticker!  This kind of encouragement can also help your child wear a mask.  Better yet, you can even have a sticker chart of your own! Have your child give you a sticker every time you wear the mask!

 

Being realistic matters.

We are in a new way of doing things.  It will take time for your child to adjust to wearing a mask.  There maybe days where they just don’t feel like it.  It is important to realize that during those days, you need to postpone events or plan for indoor activities.

 

 

 

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