Face masks help stop the spread of the coronavirus. But it’s not just adults who should be wearing them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children 2 and older wear cloth face coverings in public, especially when social distancing isn’t possible. For parents, this may feel like yet another unpopular rule they have to enforce during a year when kids have already been forced to skip school and playdates. If you’re having trouble getting your child to mask up, keep reading for some expert parenting advice.
What to do if your child’s reluctant to wear a maskKids might be wary of masks for a few different reasons. Wearing a face mask may frighten children into thinking they are sick. Or it might make them feel different from people not wearing masks. Children also depend on seeing a person’s smiling face to know that they are safe. When so many people are wearing masks, they might feel scared. For children who are reluctant to wear a face mask at first, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents:
- Have their child look in the mirror while wearing a mask and talk about it
- Put a face mask on a favorite stuffed animal
- Let their child decorate their face mask with stickers
- Encourage their child to draw a mask on one of their favorite book characters
- Let their child practice wearing a face mask at home