The continued increase in Covid-19 cases has told us that wearing face masks is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that children older than 5 should wear a face mask, it’s important to make sure we teach our kids how to wear them properly, when to wear them and why it’s important to wear them. Adjusting to wearing a face mask is hard, especially for children. We’ve put together some tips that we think will help your kids adjust to wearing a face mask!
Pick Something Fun: Children should be allowed to express themselves creatively. That includes the mask they wear! We have a variety of fun personalized face masks that your child will love. With so many patterns and designs, they can find one for each day of the week!
Demonstrate for Them: Kids emulate adults, so you should demonstrate how to wear the mask. If you or your children wear glasses, be sure to talk about some of the best ways to keep their glasses from fogging while they wear their mask. If they’re wearing it at school, they’ll have to keep it on for long periods of time, so it’s important they know how to wear it in a way that won’t make it difficult for them to do other things.
Wear the Mask Properly: This is probably one of the most important things you can do. So many people incorrectly wear their cloth custom face masks by pulling it below their nose or scrunching it under their chin. Both of these are ineffective ways to wear your mask, so make sure you and your children wear yours properly. While taking the mask on and off constantly can be annoying, it’s important to properly remove the mask by pulling off the ear straps to keep the mask sterile.
Reward Them: While your children should learn the importance of wearing their mask on the basis of principle and public health, you can provide small rewards for younger children so they actually follow through with wearing their mask. Whether it’s candy or an extra 15 minutes of reading before bedtime, you can decide the reward–plus when and how it’s enforced. No matter what your plan is, make sure you stick to it and create consistency!
Turn It Into a Game: Sometimes kids learn best when they’re having fun, so turn wearing masks into a game! Have your kids keep track of how many people are wearing masks when you visit public places, such as grocery stores or doctors’ offices, and then give the winner a small gift (such as an extra scoop of ice cream with dessert) at the end of the day. They can keep track by writing tallies in a notebook, which will also give them something to do that isn’t electronic while you focus on your errands.
Spruce Up Their Masks: One of the benefits of wearing a cloth custom face mask is that you can decorate it later! Purchase a simple face mask and spruce it up with different DIY materials. As long as you don’t damage the integrity of the mask, you can add practically anything! From fake flowers to hand-drawn shapes, you can make the mask uniquely your own. This will help the kids want to wear their masks. They’ll want to show it off to everyone!
Give Some to the Stuffed Animals: For many young children, they have a stuffed animal companion they take with them everywhere. Find materials around the house that you can use to create face masks for your child’s favorite stuffed animal. This way, their favorite companion will remind them to wear their mask! Kids need constant reminders until they learn the habit, so having something they take with them everywhere will help them learn that habit faster.
Be Honest: While the pandemic might be scary to some children, it’s important to remain honest with them about why they need to wear their mask. It’s natural to be afraid about getting sick, or loved ones getting sick, so teach your children to embrace the fear and tell them the best way they can fight back is by wearing their personalized face mask! As your children grow older, they’ll appreciate how honest you were with them.
Wear Your Mask: If you want your children to wear their mask, you need to wear yours! By wearing your mask properly, frequently and consistently, you’ll serve as the role model for your children. While face masks are meant to prevent you from potentially giving the virus to others, when everyone wears their masks, it helps prevent spread. Wearing a mask is one of the ways you can show that you care about the health of others. In fact, this is why many people in Eastern Asian countries around the world wear masks during hay fever season!