Wearing masks has become part of the “new normal” for anyone needing to venture into public. Masks help slow the spread of the virus and can reduce risk of transmission by over 70%. In many places, children over the age of 2 have to wear masks, and for kids not used to seeing people with masks, it can be scary or strange or uncomfortable to have something on their faces for long periods of time.
Here are some tips to help your child get comfortable with wearing masks:
Wear masks yourself.
“Monkey see, monkey do” is more than just a saying. Your children mimic your actions more than you realize. If they see that you’re resistant in wearing a mask during the day, they’ll be just as hesitant whenever you need them to put a mask on to run errands.
Let them pick out their own mask.
If your kid picks out their own mask, they have a higher chance of taking ownership of it and wearing it. Better yet, make masks as a family. There are a variety of no-sew mask tutorials online. Let your kid pick out the fabric and details of their mask. This “customized” option adds another layer of ownership and pride in wearing a mask.
Practice wearing them at home.
As often as you can, give your children time to acclimate to whatever mask they’ll be wearing outside. This builds their confidence, comfort levels, and sense of ownership when it comes to their mask. And if you’re a competitive family, make a game out of who can wear their masks correctly for the longest time or go the longest without touching their faces.
Remind them of who is under the mask.
For younger children, the hesitancy comes from not being able to see an adult’s face clearly. If you see someone in public, remind your child of who it is — without that person needing to remove their mask. This will make it easier for younger kids to not be afraid of what’s underneath the mask.
Be direct with the upside to wearing a mask.
It’s tempting for your child to focus on the negatives about wearing a mask. Be quick to remind them of the positives. They’re helping the whole community fight against a virus. They’re keeping their family safe. They’re protecting strangers. They’re protecting themselves. You know your child’s personality better than anyone; use whatever messaging will resonate with them the most.
The COVID pandemic created a massive need for masks to be an important part of the “new normal,” and the safety of your student is paramount at Lake Forrest Prep. We’re thankful for families willing to do their part so that we can maintain a safe educational environment — whether in-person or online. For more tips, be sure to check out our blog. Keep up with the latest information on our Facebook page.