How to Encourage Kids to Wear a Face Mask?

At first, it was doctors, nurses and others in the health care departments use to wear the mask but due to COVID-19 each and every being has to wear a mask. Evidence shows that covering the face with the help of a mask can stop the spread of the virus and protect you from getting infected. Masks are a very uncommon thing for kids. Older kids may not react much at all to wear a mask but some toddlers and young children may feel uncomfortable about masks. So parents can support and comfort their kids. But please remember Children older than 2 years of age should wear a mask to cover their nose and mouth anytime they are in a public place, including grocery stores, doctor's appointments, or other public venues.

  1. Many kids are not used to seeing people wear a mask. When kids have to wear a mask, it would make them uncomfortable or may scare them. So here are some tips that can help you to make your kid wear a mask.
  2. The reaction of the kid partly depends on their age. If your kid is scared of the mask, use developmentally appropriate language. The use of soothing words, comfort, and safety of a parent's lap can help calm them. Be honest with your children and tell them the purpose of wearing masks in public. Tell them that they will remain strong and away from the illness if they wear a mask.
  3. Give your children a chance to ask questions and provide them with honest answers. Tell them the importance of wearing a mask. Listen to them what they have to say. Ask them what they know about the coronavirus. Tell them in an innovative way that you are feeling strong when you are wearing a mask.
  4. Play games which can make them remember what they have to do to stop coming in contact with the germs and staying healthy. You can consider it as a fun mock drill with your children.
  5. Encourage your kid to decorate their mask because they might make them feel that it is their property (sense of ownership). Give them ideas to make their mask look beautiful. Appreciate their decoration of masks. A personal touch can help make it more of a normal part of their routine, and make it more likely they'll want to wear their mask.  
  6. Allow the child to play with the mask at home so that they get used to it. Ask them to show you show you how they wear the mask and make them feel that they look stronger when they wear a mask.
  7. Tell them stories and pictures of people wearing masks. Put the masks on their stuffed and pretend that you are saving their toys from the germs. Pretend to be a mask-wearing superhero. Kids often learn best through play.
  8. Make a daily routine of wearing a mask. Tell them every one is trying to do extra things to stop the germs from spreading. Wearing masks is one of the best ways to stop germs. Show them pictures of other children, friends, or family members wearing a mask.
  9. Offer them choices. Let them pick their own mask of their favorite color, pattern, and cartoon. It will make them feel that they are in control. You can sew your own masks together from old T-shirts. It will surprise them and will make them feel unique from others.
  10. Give them time to be comfortable with the mask. As kids are not used to the mask, it will need practice for them to feel free even they are wearing the mask. Have patience and give positive encouragement, emotional support, and a lot of praise when they make a move to wear a mask.
  11. When selecting masks make sure it fits properly on your kid's face, particularly on nose and mouth, and covers the chin. Make sure that the fabric is kid-friendly.

Know that face mask may bother the back of your child's ear. Mask with two ties do not require elastic around the ears and tends to cause less discomfort. An easy option is to sew buttons on a hat or the headband that can secure the mask instead of the ears. One can even use a scarf around the mouth and nose. This can be less frightening. Try to make a mask that do not hurt the skin of the kid.