Keeping your child healthy during our recent surge of RSV and COVID-19 may include having them wear a mask in public places. Children may be uncomfortable with masks at first, so it’s important to start helping your child get used to them. Here are some ways you can help:
1. Explain why actions such as wearing a mask and handwashing are important to their health.
- Use simple and direct language that is appropriate for their age
2. Let your child choose the mask they wear.
- Let them participate, which can help them feel a sense of control.
- Personalize it. Let them pick the color or pattern or incorporate their favorite characters; let them decorate it with stickers or fabric markers.
- Make it comfortable—a mask that fastens around the head may be more comfortable than one that loops around the ears.
3. Ease your child into wearing the mask.
- Lead by example. Let them see you wearing your mask.
- Familiarize them with the mask. Let them see it, touch it, hold it, put it on a favorite toy and role play.
- Practice at home. Gradually increase the time they’re wearing the mask.
4. Make masks fun.
- Keep it positive. Use encouragement and avoid a power struggle.
- Play a favorite game with them while they practice wearing a mask.
- Use games that focus on other senses, such as “I spy.”
- Give them a special treat for wearing their mask.
Use these tips to not only help keep your child healthy, but allow them to be excited to do their part in protecting others!