Health Experts Offer Recommendations to Help Kids Get Comfortable Wearing Masks
School supply shopping looked a bit different this year.
On top of paper, pencils, and backpacks, masks are now an essential part of returning to the classroom.
A mask may be just a simple piece of cloth, but health experts say it’s one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Public health experts recommend children age two and older wear masks.
Dr. Kylene Draeger with Aspirus Pediatrics Clinic in Wausau said masks are a key part in keeping schools open.
“My real hope is that if everybody wears their masks and washes their hands, we’re able to keep schools open. I think that’s everyone’s hope that keeping the numbers low, even when there are positive cases if we can make it keep from spreading that’ll be our best bet in keeping the school year open and in person,” said Dr. Draeger.
Telling a child to wear a mask and actually getting them to are two very different things.
Dr. Draeger said she has seen parents get creative.
Some parents made a rule that kids can only have screen time if they’re wearing a mask to get them used it.
Dr. Draeger also says there are ways to make the masks more comfortable.
“Some parents have also gotten creative with barrettes or other ties in the back of the head, just in case it’s not sitting right on their ears and making their ears sore. That might make them able to tolerate it for a longer period of time,” said Dr. Draeger.
It’s also important to teach kids good hygiene when it comes to wearing a mask.
“Really try to limit the amount of times you’re touching a mask in general, but when you’re taking the mask off, that you’re taking it off from behind the ear loops. Pull it from both sides and then forward. Ideally putting it right into the wash and then washing it on a hot water setting,” Dr. Draeger said.
Dr. Draeger made a point of saying you need to make sure the mask is the right size.
Adults masks won’t work for kids.
It needs to be snug over the tip of the nose and pulled under the chin.