Getting Your Kids to Wear a Mask
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The new normal is mask wearing – a proven way to help keep everyone a little bit safer as we continue to battle the Covid-19 virus. Kids often feel uneasy about new things – like mask wearing. Just like car seats, coats and helmets, masks are something we are going to have to help our kids get used to.
Here are a few tips and tricks for helping your kids adjust to mask wearing.
Get the Right Fit
In order for the mask to be effective, it needs to have a good fit, sitting above the nose and below the chin. Children’s faces are smaller, so getting the sizing right is important.
Masks also come in a variety of types varying in shape and material and in the way it attaches to your child’s head. If your Littles are anything like mine, each one will prefer something different.
The Futon Shop offers a variety of masks, with their smallest size fitting all three of my Littles very well. The Futon Shop has tested their masks and found that, while not medical grade, they are up to 88% effective at filtering out airborne particles. You can also choose from fabrics like Organic Cotton and Natural Silks to keep kids safe as fabrics sit on their face all day.
My Middle Little loves how the nose clip feels, while my Big Little prefers a more structured mask. I’m also loving the Copper Infused inserts that fit into the masks to offer more protection in situations where social distancing is difficult.
Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the biggest things with kids is to make sure new feels familiar. Talk about and practice mask wearing just as you would any other safety measure. My littles love to play pretend, so I added a few masks to our dress-up, so we could include them as we play.
Now when we play store, the shop owner (my Little Little) wears his mask and makes sure to encourage others to wear theirs too. They actually find the masks fun, since we are including them as part of our play.
The Littles’ babies have masks as well. Even though, real babies don’t need masks, it is a good idea for the boys to practice putting masks on their “babies.” It has been a great way to normalize mask wearing and make it seem less scary. They are also in charge of these little masks.
I made these doll-sized masks, but you could easily tie a kid-sized mask onto a baby doll for play
Give Kids Buy-In
I’m always surprised by the outfits my children choose to put together. However, I have much more success when I let them choose what they want to wear. The same is true for masks.
Let your kids pick out the type or color of mask they want to wear, or come up with a way to decorate white masks together with tie-dye or homemade vegetable dyes. The Futon Shop also has a variety of styles and colors to choose from.
If your child doesn’t like the way the ear loops feel there are a variety of options of ear savers that move the loops away from the back of the ears. You can add buttons to a ball cap, use clips in your child’s hair or make an ear saver from some elastic.
Make Masks Easy to Access
One of the major hurdles with mask wearing is remembering to have a few with you. If you’re already a busy parent, set yourself up for success by getting organized.
I put a basket of masks and inserts in my car. I made sure there was at least one for each of my Littles already in the car. This way even if I forget there is at least one already in there.
Just inside our front door we have a little drop zone. This is where bags and shoes end up when everyone comes in from the car. I added a box here for used masks. The kids have done a great job of putting their masks in there, so they don’t end up balled up somewhere else.
Each evening I grab the box and hand wash them while I’m doing the dishes and hang them to dry on a standalone hand-towel rack.
In this same area I designated a drawer for all our clean masks. The drawer is low enough that the boys can grab a mask when they need it, and since it’s right by the door it’s easy for me to run in and grab a few if I notice my car bin is empty.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
The most important part of mask wearing though is for your Littles to see you wearing your mask. Kids love to do exactly what their parents are doing, so make sure you are masking up too.
Our kids don’t complain about the mask wearing, when we all have to do it.
We’ve been wearing them when we are out and about, even when there are not a ton of people around. I want the kids to feel comfortable wearing them, even if other people are not. Honestly, once we start an activity they just get used to the mask and hardly notice it.
Have Enough Masks
It is also important to have enough masks. I wash the ones we wear each day – which is super simple since they are small, can be hand-washed and dry overnight.
The number of times that a mask is “compromised” while we are out and about is high. The little one will sometimes chew on the inside of the mask or otherwise expose the inside to “contaminated” air. The easiest solution is to just have another mask handy.
Luckily, our outings are usually quite short, so it is easy enough to swap out a mask. I am counting on losing a few though as the kids need to wear them to events and activities outside of my watchful eye.
Think about how often you need to change masks, how often you will be out and how often you plan to wash the masks and order accordingly. (Add one or two extra, because you know they are going to be misplaced!)
Mask wearing is so important these days, so make sure you start early getting kids used to wearing their masks. They are sure to get used to them with proper practice and encouragement.
Dutch, Dutch, Goose received these masks from The Futon Shop in exchange for this review. As always, all opinions are our own.