With the ongoing global pandemic, it has been hard for you to make your child wear a mask. And, influencing them to wear the same is even harder, especially for children with sensory differences, anxiety, and autism.
It’s heart-wrenching to watch how the mask feels on their head, face, and ears. But, masking up has become the need of an hour. What’s even worse is how children panic while you put a mask on them. In addition to health reasons, some kids don’t like how the mask looks on them or others.
Chances are great; it scares them. Other children don’t like it because it’s the new normal and getting used to it is pretty hard.
Tips for Choosing a Face Mask for your Child
Now that you’re a mommy who’s trying to mask up to your toddler, following some tips can be your way out. But, before that, it is vital to understand why your child doesn’t like to wear a mask. Evaluate his behavior and then follow some ways to make your child comfortable:
#Tip 1: Oversee the Type of Mask you Get and How your Toddler Would Like to Wear it:
The likelihood of convincing your child to wear a mask increases if:
- The mask has its favorite sports team, color, cartoon character, or particular interest.
- Your child finds the mask comfortable.
- Has face mask extenders, which put pressure on the back of their head instead of on the back of their ears.
- It has a spacious curved front seam, a nose wire, and ear loops to enhance easy breathing.
- It has multiple layers to protect them. For instance, 3-layer face masks have layers to provide safety and comfort.
- A communication mask to help them see their family’s and friend’s expressions and gestures while talking. This will enable them to wear a mask, thinking they’re wearing one in the first place.
- It is sized appropriately to meet their diverse needs.
Give your Child these Choices
Having a choice can empower your child to make trusted decisions while selecting the product he would like to wear. If your older child gives you inputs on what he prefers to wear and what feels right- consider these.
You may even want your child to try out some options before embarking upon the buying journey. For instance, you can use their preferred mask in numerous ways, like over-the-ear straps. You can also think of holding the straps as if a mask extender. In the end, if your child attains comfort while wearing a mask, he’ll want to put it on during different times of the day!
#Tip 2: Shed Light on the Importance of Wearing a Mask
It is always vital to make your child know the benefits before he/she wears it. Although the situation varies on the basis of your child, a little prep and practice from your side can go a long way. Start at least one week before going out in public:
Some ways through which you can do this are:
- Explanations: Explain to your child why a facemask is essential. Say the correct words like “We wear face masks to protect ourselves from the virus.”
- Modelling: One of the very first things you can do is model behavior you wish your child to practice. Chances are good; their curiosity levels will rise to unexceptional levels when they see you wearing a mask. You may also involve their soft toys in the process. For instance, you can have their dolls, favorite cartoon characters, or stuffed toys with a mask put on. Spread awareness about how their favorites wear masks to stay safe.
- Social Stories: Many social stories are available online that describe how COVID19 affects people’s health, and masks can prevent the spread. Watch these social stories before showing your kid and speak the exact words the story characters do to lay a profound impact. Putting your pictures in the story may also be helpful.
#Tip 3: When Explanations aren’t Enough:
Some children need a lot of practice to attain comfort in a mask. You can start by introducing the mask slowly to your child. Make touching and wearing a mask the new-normal by following some steps. Doing so in a playful manner may make the process much easier, and the impact is likely to last longer.
If your child feels anxious while doing these steps, ensure relaxing them. Praise their efforts and reward them with items like stress balls, bubbles, etc. Some children may take longer than others but giving up is never an option. After all, it’s about your toddler’s safety.
#Tip 4: Try these Things when your Child Goes with a Mask:
- Set clear rules for your child about when, why, and where you may require your child to wear a mask and where not.
- Use some visuals as reminders or for explaining what’s to be done when they step outside.
- For older children, review the rules simply before going out as a family.
Breaks: Your child adapting to the new normal cannot wear a mask at all times. He/she needs a break too. Thus, please give them a straightforward way of asking for breaks as and when they need them. Things like agreeing with a hand signal, checking with them verbally, or installing a button on their communication device are feasible options.
Rewards: Just like making your child comfortable using the mask, knowing some tips can go a long way towards child cooperation. Putting on a mask is similar to a “real world” chore, and doing it right is a bit like a “paycheck”.
Thereby, let your child know the reward of keeping their mask on. Consider setting this up ahead of an outing or something else your child would want to earn.
Where Can You Get a Mask?
Masks have become clothing essential for people nowadays. Thus, you can easily find numerous options- both online and offline. Masks are available:
- From Town Options/ Local County
- Local Stores
Wearing a mask is pretty hard for people worldwide, but it’s even harder for children. Thereby, pick a mask and see which tips work wonders for influencing your child. If your child experiences troubles wearing masks, try talking to a health professional and see what you can do to encourage wearing a mask.
In the end, wear a Mask, Keep your Distance, and Fight Coronavirus!