Is your toddler having a hard time adjusting to wearing a face mask? As the pandemic continues, putting a face mask on is one of the many safety precautions we need to get used to nowadays. Although it may appear uncomfortable, this will prevent us from catching the unseen virus. Hence, whether it is for going out for a family gathering or playing outside, our little ones need to get into the habit of having a face mask on for their care.
Today, we will talk about how we can make your child more comfortable with wearing a face mask. We asked different mothers with toddlers to give us some bits of advice on how you can positively regularize a face mask on their kids’ everyday lives. Keep reading as we give you some insights!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is advised that children who are (2) two years and older should wear a face mask particularly if the circumstance makes it difficult to practice social distancing, and depending on local requirements. It is also recommended that in these situations, a parent or a guardian must be present to look after the safety use of the mask. If ever in doubt or confused, it is best to medically consult your doctor on how to move forward in doing a good and safe practice.
We know it might be distressing for young kids to incorporate face masks onto their daily habits, but it is vital to responsibly train your child with this new norm that could safeguard them from the virus. So, how can we make the kids comfortable in wearing protective face masks? Keep scrolling to find out some useful tips and hacks from different moms!
The first thing that you need to do is to explain to them why there is a need for people to wear a face mask. Find out what they know and explain further using simple words that are appropriate to their age to describe the situation. Once you have enlightened them about the purpose, it will make it easier for you to get them to wear the mask.
“Kids nowadays are smart and advanced, so they know about the virus. But it is different coming from a parent. It is important to give them a gist of the situation using your own words. Pinaliwanag namin ng husband ko sa kanila na malaki ang magagawa ng pagsuot ng mask para di sila mahawa sa COVID. My husband is a doctor, and they have been in a hospital before, so they are familiar with what it’s like. We tell them that if they do not wear a mask, they might get sick, and we will have to send them to a hospital. From there, they choose to wear masks even without us telling them.” – Jane, 2 kids
A mask should properly cover their nose and mouth, so it shields them from the virus. But by also doing this, you are protecting others as you save people away from your own germs. You need to educate and make them understand how our body works and how wearing a mask can not only prevent us from getting sick, but can also be a way of taking care of other people. Wearing a mask makes us responsible citizens of the community.
“As for my kids, they are aware of what is happening, and takot din sila mahawaan. I tell them that these are trying times, but just temporary. Apart from that, I always remind them that the mask is not just for their protection from the virus, but it protects other people too.” – Siena, 2 kids
One of the easiest ways to introduce them to a face mask is by letting them see that you are wearing it. Show them how to correctly put on a face mask (covering your nose and mouth), how to safely act in public, and washing your hands regularly before putting it on and after removing it. Modeling the right way and safe behavior in front of your child will make them become more familiar and comfortable with the new norm.
“When they see their parents wearing a face mask, you will not have a hard time making them wear one. Kids like to follow what they see from their parents.” – Trina, 3 kids.
Make it fun by letting them choose a face mask with their favorite characters and themes, or by making them decorate their face mask with stickers. You can also make your personalized masks together as a family! Let them pick their colors, patterns, fabrics, etc. It will make the process fun and help them feel more relaxed with it!
“I bought him a face shield intended for kids, the ones with superhero characters, and since he is fond of Spiderman and his face shield has a Spiderman print, so he does not mind wearing it.” – Tin, 1 kid
Children can be cozier with having face masks on by practicing it at home. One of the dynamic hacks you can do to get their attention and, at the same time, educate them about the current situation is through role play. Plus, it is also a fun and playful way to slowly introduce a face mask and help them get used to this new custom.
“We start by practicing it at home through a role play. Sometimes, we play as ninjas, or he acts as a doctor using a surgical mask and an old stethoscope that we have at home. We have a variety of face masks and face shields with different designs for him. So, we let him decide, depending on his mood. This way, we can get to familiarize himself with wearing a mask.” – Fiona, 1 kid.