The wearing of face masks is becoming a way of life. Even if they are not to be worn while participating in gymnastics and other sports when meets, games and practices do resume the chances are good that at child over the age of 2 or 3 will be asked to wear one when near others. Kids of all ages may also be told to wear them when they return to school. But if adults are struggling with the idea how can you help kids get used to it?
Choosing the Right Face Mask for Active Kids
The CDC, and most schools, sports organizations and others are requiring/recommending that children wear a simple cloth mask, but when choosing masks for your child things get more complicated than that. It will need to fit, be fit for purpose and, if you really want your child not to balk too hard at wearing one something that appeals to them.
The good news is that there an increasing number of children’s clothing manufacturers offering their take on a face mask that are easy to find in retail settings. If you are shopping for tweens and teens looking for something fashionable and/or cool Etsy may be a better bet, and you will be supporting individual entrepreneurs and craftsman when shopping there.
If you are feeling crafty you could even choose to hit up the fabric section at a store like Joann’s, let your child choose a unique print or two and then make your own face masks. Joann’s offer some great tutorials here, and it’s easier than you might think.
Wearing and Caring for Kids Face Masks the Right Way
Once you have found masks they like as a parent it will be up to you to help make sure they are wearing, using and caring for them the right way. Here are some basic guidelines you can follow and share:
Putting Face Masks On
- Have your child pick up the mask by the ties or straps with clean hands and attach it securely to their face. Younger kids you’ll have to help with this.
- Be sure that the mask fits snugly but that your child can still breathe effectively
- Have them/help them adjust the fabric near the bridge of the nose to make a tight fit (some people find that putting your child’s glasses or even sunglasses over the edge of the mask helps it stay in place)
- Help your kids feel comfortable in their masks and remind them again that they shouldn’t touch it and that they should leave it in place. Lead by example and make sure you wear one yourself.
Taking the Mask Off
- Wash your hands before touching the mask and have your child do the same. Remove the mask by the ties or straps
- Place the mask immediately in your washing machine or in a plastic bag
- Have your children wash their hands after removing the mask
- Wash and dry the mask in your washing before using it again, cloth face masks should never be worn a second time until they have been laundered.