Getting your child to wear a face mask in 7 easy steps
In 2022 Aussie kids are getting more attuned and used to face masks being around as part of the 'new normal', depending where you live you in Australia some of us are more used to it than others.
Wherever you reside, it's important keep across your states and territories advice about whether you and your child require a face mask in your local area. The rules can change regularly and quickly so it's a good habit to keep checking information on your state or territory's health department website for updates to this advice.
It's important to note that children under 3 years of age should never wear face masks for safety reasons. Face masks are strictly NOT suitable for use by children under 3 years of age.
Where it is required for children to wear face masks in the community or at school we can all help children adapt by explaining the rules, teaching them how to wear a face mask, listening to their feelings and communicating with them accordingly to give them the support needed to adapt to changing conditions in their environment.
Children react differently to face masks, how they react can vary by age group. Kids of all ages are likely to have questions about why people need to wear face masks and ask if they also need to wear one.
Whilst children will be seeing people in their lives and communities wearing face masks as part of their daily activities; children will adapt to seeing you and others wearing face masks.
Communicating with your child about face masks
Speaking with your child about face masks can help them understand what is happening in their environment and assist them to feel more comfortable.
For young children you can use easy to follow language that is simple and explains the use of face masks with a visual demonstration of putting one on and then showing that you can still see me but my mouth and nose are hiding now.
For older children try these 7 easy steps:
- An introduction to face masks discussion - chose a time to discuss face masks when your child can be focused and not distracted, have an example ready to show them in your explanation.
- How you explain face masks and what you say is important to how your child reacts - Ensure you have a positive and reassuring tone of voice to keep them calm. Your child is more likely to feel at ease and safe if you are calm and positive in your approach.
- Ask your child what they already understand about face masks and get them to explain it to you. Listen closely to what they say and ask them if they have any questions.
- Explain face masks in a way that your child understands and can relate to. Stick to the facts and have a positive outlook.
- Children learn through play, let them practice in comfort of their own home environment. Wearing a face mask is a relatively new concept for children even though they have seen adults wearing masks more and more children are now wearing them too. It can be a good idea to introduce this concept of wearing a mask first at home to let them practice putting it on and taking it off and telling them to only handle it by the ear straps when touching it. Give them time to adjust to wearing it in short bursts where they are supervised by an adult before wearing them out and about in public. It will enable them to get more comfortable with the feeling of having something on their face and give them space to get used to it. Always supervise children with creative play with face masks and do not leave them unattended for child safety reasons.
- Listen carefully to your child's feelings about face masks. We can get valuable clues as to how our children are coping by listening to their feelings, ensure your child feels their feelings are validated and its ok to feel whatever they are feeling. It's a good idea to ask them what could make them feel more comfortable. It could be helpful to them to share your feelings about the current situation and what actions you are taking yourself to feel more secure.
- Let children be involved in face mask design selection to make the process more fun and give them a sense of control. Let them chose a design that suits their personality and reflects what they are interested in. You can even elect to get the same design or theme for the whole family to wear i.e. Christmas, Easter, Halloween etc together you can all have a laugh wearing a 'twinning look' for a bit of fun and novelty!
We can all assist our little ones to feel more comfortable with the climate we're finding ourselves living in today, we are all adjustring to these times as best as we can and adapting a positive mental attitude as role models and guardians to children is really important when communicating and ensuring they feel safe and secure. Trying some of these simple steps outlined may aid you and your family to experiment with creative play and the wearing face masks at home to practice the feeling of having something on your face and to assist your children comfortably transition to wearing masks when out and about at shopping centres and schools as necessary.
Masx-Tech face masks are available in adults (S, M, L, XL) and kids sizes (Y, S). Check out our huge range of cute, fun and colourful designs in our Kids Club Collection. Not only do we have an entire children's face mask collection, all of the designs on our store are available in Kids sizes; Youth or Adult Small. Check out Shop All.
Masx-Tech are well renowned globally for our snug and comfy-fit to face that stays put and doesn't slip down or off your face so you can wear your masks for hours at a time in comfort without constant re-adjusting.
Buy face masks for the whole family with our family packs that come with 4 units; 2x adults masks and 2x childrens masks for kids or shop all and select from our comprehensive range of designs available in all sizes. All face masks are anti-odour, machine washable, breathable, very comfortable and eco-friendly, making them perfect for the whole family and workplace to wear.