Our friends with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County are sharing tips with parents and caregivers on how to make wearing masks more comfortable and less scary for toddlers and young children.
Transcript: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children as young as two years old wear a mask while in public. Here are some helpful tips to make wearing a mask more comfortable for your family. It can be scary for some toddlers and young children to see adults wearing a mask. Give young children time to observe and adjust to everyone wearing face coverings. Use simple words to explain why people are wearing face coverings. Make it fun, create a cloth mask at home. Put a cloth face covering on their favorite stuffed animal. Remain positive as you explain that we wear masks to keep our family and friends healthy.
Tips From GCM:
At the Glazer Children’s Museum, we support play as the foundation upon which children learn. These tips can help make wearing a mask a fun activity for children.
- Listen to what your child is saying and the questions they are asking. Keep your answers simple and age-appropriate.
- Look for kid-friendly or colorful mask options. Having your child choose (or create!) the design can make them feel like a part of the process and build excitement.
- Providing a variety of options can be helpful and fun. Empower your child to choose a mask to wear. They don’t have control over whether or not to wear one, but choosing which one to wear gives them power.
- Ensure masks fit correctly and comfortably as this will help prevent them from fidgeting with it.
- Practice wearing a mask at home for short periods of time. Put your masks on and look in the mirror together. Encourage them to follow your lead so they become comfortable.
- Have your child practice wearing a mask during playtime. Integrate it into the play as part of dress-up (be a doctor!).
Children May Be Afraid of Masks. Here’s How to Help from The New York Times
Helping Kids Get Used to Seeing and Wearing Masks from NationwideChildrens.org
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Helping Kids Get Used to Masks from KidsHealth.org
How to make face masks more comfortable for kids from Children’s Minnesota
Helping Individuals with Autism Wear Face Masks from Autism New Jersey
Behind My Mask: A Super Kid Self-Portrait from Cassie Stephens