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Parent Survival Guide: Helping kids adjust to wearing a mask

Updated: Aug. 24, 2020 at 7:32 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone 2 years old and older wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVIDD-19. Getting a child adjusted to wearing a face mask for extended periods of time can sometimes be difficult.

Local Pediatrician Doctor Tory Caudle says it starts with kids seeing their parents lead by example. She also says it’s good to explain to your child the reason why a mask is so important.

”Put it on with your child in the mirror and let them see what you’re protecting against, and help them see why you’re wearing it, what it’s protecting against to help them get the swing of it,” Caudle said.

Caudle says you can make the experience of wearing a mask more positive for kids by personalizing them with their favorite characters or colors or even initials. She also recommends having your child practice wearing a mask at home first.

“Especially with younger kids, you can put it on their favorite stuffed animal, or color a mask over their favorite comic book character. You could play a game around the house to see who could wear it longer, something to get them into it and used to it,” Caudle said.

She says there is a right and wrong way to wear a mask.

“Also it’s important to teach them how to put it on and take it off. I see a lot of people touching the front of the mask. You really should not touch the front. Put it over your ears, wash your hands after, and wash your hands when you take it off,” Caudle said.

Caudle said if you’re a parent who is concerned your child has health issues that prohibits them from wearing a mask she says talk to your health care provider. Also, when it comes to keeping your mask clean, Caudle says always keep a clean ziplock bag available to store the mask in so it’s not lying down collecting germs.

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