As COVID-19 continues to be a concern, it’s more important than ever that everyone wear a mask. While adults and older children have been wearing masks for several months, now it’s recommended that younger children wear them, too. We know it may seem tricky, so we’re sharing a few ways to get preschoolers to wear a mask without the fuss.
Why Is It Important for Preschoolers to Wear a Mask?
For months, laws and guidelines related to wearing a mask were only directed toward children over the age of five and adults, so what has changed? First, it is proven to keep them and others safer, especially as variants of the COVID-19 virus from other countries are showing to be more likely to infect children and cause worse symptoms and effects than the original strain. The more people wear masks and practice social distance, the fewer cases there are.
Studies are showing that masks are keeping us safer from other illnesses, such as the flu and colds. This past season was mild in regards to how many cases of flu were recorded, and the medical community cites social distancing and especially wearing masks. It may become commonplace to wear a mask during flu season to minimize risk of contracting or spreading this and other illnesses.
Plus, more places are requiring everyone over the age of two to wear a mask. If you and your family want to take a trip and get on an airplane or you wish to send your child to preschool, masks are generally required. Getting used to masks now can generally make things easier in the long run.
Tips for Helping Your Preschooler to Wear a Mask
Now that we’ve discussed why it’s important, let’s look at how to get your preschooler to wear a mask, without tantrums, fussing, or complaining.
The number one way to convince a child to wear a mask is to ensure the adults in their life are doing so, too. As long as parents and caregivers are wearing a mask with the same nonchalance as wearing shoes or a shirt, it normalizes it, making it just a part of an outfit. On the other hand, if a parent or caregiver in the child’s life is complaining that it’s too hot or they’re wearing it under their nose, your preschooler will pick up on it and be even more reluctant.
You can even put a mask on your child’s favorite stuffed animal or doll!
Try a Few Different Styles
What’s comfortable for one person may be unbearable to another – too hot, too loose, too tight, too much ear rubbing, etc. – so let your child try a few different options from different stores to find the right one. Some children do better with elastic ear loops, some prefer tie behind options, some like paper medical masks, other children like cloth. It’s okay to find the best, most comfortable fit and stock up on them when you find them!
Let Your Child Choose a Design
From polka dots to Paw Patrol, there are near-infinite patterns and styles of masks. Most likely, if your preschooler picks out their mask and really likes it, it will help them get more excited to wear it. Let them have a say, and be sure to offer plenty of positive reinforcement.
Practice Makes Perfect
If your child will be going on a trip or starting preschool, or be in another situation where they have to wear a mask for an extended amount of time, you may need to work up to it. After all, going from never wearing a mask to having one on for seven or eight hours a day can be very disorienting and stressful. Instead, practice wearing a mask while watching a show, at the grocery store (even if it’s not a requirement), and gradually build up time with it. Be sure to offer lots of praise and positive reinforcement, and before long, they’ll have no problem wearing it all day.
Schedule a Tour of Our Preschool in Raleigh
If you’re looking for a safe preschool for your child where you know their health and safety are a top priority, reach out to Primary Beginnings. To schedule a tour with our Raleigh preschool, call us today at 919-790-6888 for our Spring Forest Road location and 919-785-0303 for our North Hills Drive Center.