Teaching children to wear masks
Updated: Apr 5, 2020
Wearing a mask is important for our little ones to protect themselves during flu season or allergens, but asking a child to wear a mask can be tricky. They may be too young to understand the importance of wearing a surgical mask or resist due to the discomfort of wearing a mask for a long time. Some may also dislike putting a mask on due to their sensitivity to sensory stimuli. In order to help them have a smooth and positive learning experience to wear a surgical mask, let’s make it fun!
How do we do it?
1. Let your child play with the mask
Let him play with it, investigate it, and explore its texture.
2. Ask your child to put on the mask for a few seconds first. If that is successful, praise and gradually increase the duration.
The key is to make it a positive experience while wearing the mask. Give lots of praise, and even some tangible or edible rewards.
You can count down with them to make it fun!
If your child is not willing to put on the mask at all, try the following warm-up activities
1. Have your child put the mask on you first.
Be silly. Show him that wearing a mask is fun. Then try to put it on him.
2. Put the mask on dolls / superheroes.
You can have him help his favorite dolls, stuffed animals, or superheroes wear the mask first. Be silly and praise the toys for wearing the masks. Then have him be just like his favorite toy by putting the mask on too.
3. Draw cartoons (e.g. mouth, nose, beard) on the mask to make it a fun "dress-up" game.
4. Take selfies, look in the mirror, be silly!
If he is not ready to put on the mask, simply hold a mask in front of his face and look in the mirror.
Once he is willing to put the mask on, you can extend the duration he keeps it on by engaging in fun activities while wearing the mask
Have fun with it and stay healthy!