So as the new school year approaches, those of us sending our children back to school will have to send them with masks. This might seem very overwhelming for some. I have developed some tips to help kids adjust to wearing a mask.
Probably the most important thing I can say about the masks is how important it is for us as parents to support the decisions made by the district with regards to health and safety. We don’t need to share our frustrations about anything related to school with our children. Keep the adult issues adults issues and help our children meet the expectations. This is not just for wearing mask, but for other issues. If you have a problem with a rule, bring it up to the school the correct way, let you kid just be a kid! Remind your child that they get to help protect others by keeping their mask on when asked.
Find one with a good fit.
This could be tricky if your child is very small. There are many styles out there and you might have to try a few before finding one with a good fit. I recommend adjustable straps if you can. These have the adjustable straps I’m referring to
Try “ear savers”
I know many of us are not used to wearing those loops around our ears and it can be hard to get used to. Try some thing like this:
This is key! You will want to practice letting your child put the mask on and off so that they can do it independently and get it on correctly. (covering mouth and nose!) You will want to start off with 5 min at a time if your child is struggling with the feeling of the mask. Try 5 min 3-4 times a day. After 3-4 days, increase it to 7-10 min. Once your child is used to that time, increase it more until your child can tolerate if for the amount of time that he/she will need to wear it for school.
Prep ahead of time
I know our mornings can get crazy. I plan to use re-usable masks for my kids. I plan to put 5 masks inside a pocket in my kid’s backpack on Sunday evening. I’ll probably put them in a ziplock bag or other small makeup bag. This way I know we won’t be running back into the house from the bus stop to get a mask! I also plan to get some disposable masks to stash in the backpack as backup in case a mask gets lost, or sneezed into, or whatever. That way my child will always have a mask. Since my kids are older and have lockers, I’ll probably have them keep a few in their locker too.
I’ve gotten some masks from various places. I got some from Zulily
And I got some from Norwex, (I do sell Norwex so feel free to contact me if you are interested in masks from Norwex). A few people in my neighborhood have made some and I got some from my mother in law. They all fit a little differently and we each have ones we prefer over the others. It’s nice to have some variety.
Talk to your child
I think it’s very important that we talk to our kids about why we are wearing masks and how they work. Remind them that they always need to cover their sneezes and coughs and wash their hands after doing so. Explain that the masks keep their germs from spreading. Also help them think about how they feel wearing the mask, how to just breath normally. If your child had breathing issues, anxiety etc., you might need to more practice to be sure that your child is breathing normally while wearing the mask. If you have any concerns about wearing a mask I recommend you talk to your child’s doctor about your concerns.