Remember, children two years and older need to wear face coverings when out in public and when they visit a CPCMG office. Kids under age two need to be in a stroller or carried so their physical reach is always under your control. This helps them from touching contaminated objects. We primarily get sick from viruses when they get into our body through our moist surfaces – eyes, inside of the nose and mouth. And aside from having droplets from someone talking (or coughing, singing, sneezing or cheering) close to you, touching our “mucus membranes” with our hands is the most common way to be exposed to a virus.
How do you get a kid to wear a mask? I’ve been surprised and proud to see how compliant our youngest CPCMG patients have been. Kids may be more comfortable wearing masks than adults are. It’s like a costume. I’d feel really awkward wearing a cape or princess dress, but the costume-wearing-age kids seem to be perfectly comfortable in what I suspect they see as just a new dress-up option.
Nevertheless, here are some tips to help your child wear a mask:
- let children see themselves in the mirror
- let them choose or decorate their mask
- make one together or use a fabric with their favorite characters
- make a mask for their favorite stuffed animal or toy
- practice wearing the mask at home before going out
- limit their time in the mask – let kids take their mask off in the car
- give them a small toy to occupy their hands instead of fidgeting with their (or your) mask
- be a role model
Face coverings are going to be part of our daily routine for a long time. In fact, most young kids won’t remember a time when they didn’t see masks in public. Now is a great time to invest in some quality face coverings – and be sure to choose distinct designs so you don’t accidentally wear someone else’s mask!
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