How to get children to embrace face coverings

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — We all know it can be a struggle to get children to do things like eat your veggies or do your homework, but now with the new normal of wearing masks in some public places, getting children to wear it can pose a challenge for some parents. 

Doctor Elizabeth Murray, a pediatrician at Golisano’s Children’s Hospital, says the best way to get children ages two and up into the habit of wearing a mask is repetition.​

“Practicing at home even if it’s just for a few minutes everyday so kids get the hang of wearing it and understanding the importance of not touching it when it’s on your face and also starting to learn how to take it off and put it on correctly,” said Murray. “We want to make sure that kids are only touching the earlobes and not touching the front of the mask.” 

Dr. Murray says your mask should cover nose to chin.​ She recommends parents to talk to their children about the importance of wearing one.​ 

“It is not a scary thing. it’s actually a helpful thing. Kids like to be helpful, and they want to know they’re doing the right thing. We know how important this is for the safety of our community,” said Murray. 

According to Kidshealth.org, parents can encourage their kids to decorate their mask.​ It could help children have a sense of ownership and control of the situation.​ Parents can also make the masks together.​ Have the kids select the fabric or patterns of the masks they’ll be wearing.​ and have a few masks handy while kids play.​ They can use their imagination about how to use them during playtime.​

Murray encourages parents to be set a good example.​ Because when parents wear their masks appropriately, their kids are more likely to wear a mask.​

“We always want to make sure we’re teaching our kids healthy messages. So right now we need to be wearing masks when they’re unable to physically distance themselves,” said Murray.

It is also recommended to wash cloth masks after each use. 

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