5 Tips to Make Your Kids Feel Comfortable Wearing Masks
5 Tips to Make Your Kids Feel Comfortable with Wearing Masks
As government lockdown restrictions loosen, we are very excited to welcome our students back for face to face lessons! While this is great news,
it’s important to remember that the virus is still very much a real threat and, as we are working hard to make sure your learning experience is as safe as possible, we’d like our pupils to protect themselves and others too. Wearing a mask or a shield is one of the best ways to do this, but your kid may be reluctant to get used to the ‘new normal’. Here are some tips that will help!
Why are masks/visors necessary?
Firstly, just a quick explanation on why we will require both students and teachers to wear masks or visors for their lessons. I am no scientist, so I rely on these to mitigate the risk, to be able to offer a face to face service again. Breathing or talking could possibly release tiny particles (Bioaerosols) carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID 19. The virus can stay suspended in the air in the ultrafine mist that is produced when infected people exhale. This risk may be even higher when singing, as more air is forced out and pronunciation is usually enhanced, which can cause accidental spitting. While this doesn’t completely eliminate a chance of infection, wearing a mask can significantly reduce it.
So, what can you do to make masks more fun and enjoyable?
1. Explain them in a way they will understand
Younger children can feel particularly confused when seeing others wear masks, since they hide a significant part of a person’s face and,
therefore, their familiar features and facial expressions.
If this is the case, use language that they will understand to explain that masks are there to protect them and others. Empower your kids by saying that masks make them a medical superhero and offer a chance to do their part to keep
everyone around them safe and healthy. Teenagers shouldn’t have an issue understanding the need for masks, but still may need encouragement to wear them. Motivate them to find their own sense of identity within the ongoing pandemic and empower them to develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and others.
2. Let them get used to it at their own pace
It’s likely that it will take time for your child to get used to wearing a mask, so it may be a good idea to encourage wearing one around the house for shorter periods of time to see how they feel about it. Then, once their lessons resume, they will already be familiar with them. It’s also good to lead by example and wear your mask too, so it normalises the experience for your kids.
3. Offer an incentive
A great way to motivate your kids to wear a mask is by implementing a reward system. For example, if they are able to wear it for a short period of time, they would get some stickers, their favourite snack or any other incentive of your choice. This way, you can gradually increase the amount of time they spend wearing a mask and slowly get them used to it.
4. Make masks a part of their playtime and personal style
While talking to your kids about the importance of masks is great, playing might work even better! Try putting a mask on their favourite stuffed animal or doll, or drawing different characters with masks on and off. You can also encourage them to pretend to be doctors or nurses. If you’re making
masks at home, get them involved by letting them choose their own colours and patterns – there are some great tutorials on how you can make your own. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZZ4AIQESLA ) Or, you can buy a few masks with their favourite superhero themes, so they can choose to be a different one every day. ( https://www.etsy.com/uk/market/kids_superhero_mask?locationQuery=2635167 ) You can decorate and paint some PPE, but be sure to check first, as this is not advisable for
certain types of medical masks and could make them ineffective. Teenagers, on the other hand,
ma benefit from masks that reclaim their sense of individuality and identity. So, try finding masks together that make a fashion statement ( https://www.etsy.com/uk/market/fashion_face_mask?locationQuery=2635167 )
and express their unique style, allowing for plenty of
creativity and autonomy. ( https://wawwaclothing.com/products/face-mask )
5. Find what works best
Luckily, there are a few options out there that may be more suited for your child. If wearing a face mask if too stressful
or uncomfortable, try a visor instead – these are less restrictive and would also make better choices for singing lessons. ( https://www.yesstyle.com/en/tcuc.GBP/coc.GB/info.html/pid.1088699059?cpid=1088699073 ) Some of them come as an attachment to a hat, making them really comfortable to wear and there are some fun designs available for smaller children. ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gresunny-Protective-Anti-Saliva-Anti-Spitting-Detachable/dp/B086X68ZTX/ ) Just make sure these are anti-fog, which would usually be stated in the product description. The great thing about visors is that you can also customise them, which will make the experience a lot more fun and give them a sense of control!
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