Our recent post with a social story and video to help kids wear masks has been so popular, we decided to take the tips that Christina shared in that post and make them into a single, downloadable page for sharing. Click on the image below to download a pdf, and stay safe out there!
Make sure it is comfortable
Make sure the mask is not too loose or too tight. Trial several different masks — there are many different options for material, fit, and closure. If your child is able to communicate what particular aspect of their mask is bothering them, show them different options that might eliminate that problem. For instance, if your child is bothered by the masks that loop around ears, show them one that ties behind the head or attaches to a headband or hat. Be willing to problem solve!
Make it special
Help your child feel like the mask is theirs by decorating with stickers, markers, patches, or letting them choose a fun pattern.
Start practicing at home before your child needs to wear the mask in the community. Use yourself, friends, family, and other kids to model wearing masks. It can be helpful to engage your child in a highly preferred activity, such as a favorite TV show or game, while they practice wearing the mask. You might also try setting a time limit and offering a reward at the end if they tolerate the mask the whole time (i.e. wear the mask for 5 minutes without taking it off and earn a favorite treat).
Incorporate masks in to pretend play. Practice putting them on dolls and stuffed animals. You can pretend to be doctors, superheroes, nurses, and other people that wear masks.
Educate and explain
Talk to your child about why it is important to wear a mask and when they need to wear a mask. (Check out our social story and video if you need help with this!)