5 Tips for Parents to Help with Mask Wearing

September 15, 2021

Here are some tips and resources you can use to help make the transition to full-time masking easier for your child.

Explain Why.

Children, like adults, like understanding the reason why they need to do something. Explaining how masks help stop the spread of germs and helps people stay safe and healthy. Be sure to listen to any questions your child has, and let their questions shape your conversation.

Play Pretend.

Allowing children to put masks on dolls, and stuffed animals can help normalize masks for children. Use pretend play to help your child get used to wearing the mask, by wearing them while engaging in play activities like grocery store.

Make it fun and personal.

You can find fun, colorful masks in many stores. Looks for ones with superhero characters, movie favorites, silly faces, or animal prints. Kids might opt for a plain mask that they can decorate with markers, stickers, beads, or sequins. A personal touch can help make masks a more normal part of their routine

Let them choose the mask.

Giving children any sense of control may go a long way. They may not have control over the rule, but maybe you can let them pick the color or design of the mask.

Remind & Review.

Before you leave in the morning remind your child about what’s going to happen. Telling them things like “When we get to program today we are going to put our masks on so we can go inside.” will help remind children of the new expectations. Before you enter your child care program be sure to review the new rules with your child. Toddlers have limited memory so this review is important to help set expectations.

Additional Resources:

7 tips for helping your child wear a mask – The Mayo Clinic

Talking to Young Children about Wearing Masks – Zero to Three

Helping Children Understand Emotions When Wearing Masks – NCPMI

Helping Children With Disabilities Wear Masks – University of Rochester Medical Center