A young child may not understand that wearing a mask in public is meant to protect everyone, themselves included. They may even fight you or stubbornly remove the mask while outside. Some children may even be afraid of people wearing masks.
What can you do to keep them interested in wearing their mask? Here are some quick and simple tips!
Keep it Fun!
Make or buy a mask with a design on it that your child likes. You could even let them pick it out or design it themselves. Your child is less likely to remove the mask if it is fun for them to wear.
Letting your child decorate the mask is a good way to get them engaged and make the mask feel personal to them. Use stickers or let them color on it, or let them pick the color of fabric if you are going to make your masks yourself.
Another fun way to get them to keep the mask on is reminding them that superheroes wear masks. Show them pictures of their favorite masked heroes and let them know that they are being heroic and doing something good for other people by leaving the mask on.
If all else fails, you can also invoke the allure of being a tiny ninja!
Be Sure It’s a Good Fit
A well-fitting mask protects your child better than a loose one and it is harder for them to accidentally yank off. If you are making your own, you should carefully measure the distance to your child’s ear for the string holders. If these are too loose, the mask may even fall off without any help from your child.
Many masks also feature a small metal band on the bridge of the nose. Lightly pinching this better “seals” the mask and also helps keep it well-fitted.
Only Have Them Wear it When Needed
It is a good idea to get your child familiar with masks, but you can do this by putting them on their toys, instead of forcing them to wear them at home.
A child will get sick of wearing their mask quickly if they have to wear them even in the comfort of their own home. Only putting them on when going out in public makes the mask feel “special” to the child and gives it a purpose, other than being something that annoys them.
Have More than One Because it Will get Dirty
We all know children can be messy, so always have a backup mask that your child likes in case their main one gets dirty or damaged.
What to Say to Them
Children are also curious. They are going to ask about masks and why they have to wear them. Giving them the correct information will discourage them from taking it off.
Let them know how it will help to keep them, and others, safe and stop the spread of disease. Be sure to explain that other kids have to wear them and the difference between these masks and ones that you wear on Halloween.