The rapid spread of COVID-19 in the last few months was overwhelming for healthcare systems around the world. By February, the risk of a mask shortage in the US was imminent, as panic-buying ensued. Many authorities were worried that there wouldn’t be enough personal protective equipment for healthcare workers operating on the frontlines.
However, due to an increase in production and creative solutions, such as reusable, homemade masks, the problem seems to be subsiding. Social distancing measures still apply, and the CDC recommends covering your face when out in public.
Adults might find it easy to adjust to this change, but getting children to wear face masks can be a challenge—especially for younger kids.
If your child is above the age of two, a face mask or covering is a vital safety component when venturing outside. Here’s how you can encourage your children to wear masks safely.
1. Talk to them
Use simple words to help kids understand why people are wearing masks. Steer clear of scary technical details, but be open to answering all their questions. The change is rattling for most adults, so it’s understandable that younger children might be confused or scared during this time.
While you should keep going outside to a minimum, in some cases, such as medical visits, it’s unavoidable. For such situations, it’s best to prepare your kids beforehand. Let them know that their doctors, nurses, as well as other patients, will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, and isolation gowns.
2. Get Creative
Get your child involved in the process by helping them select or decorate the mask. If you’re making one at home, choose a light fabric that has designs or colors your child likes. Making this a family activity can help them become more engaged in the idea.
It’s important to know that cloth coverings don’t provide the same level of protection as face masks or face shields. If you’re getting high-quality KN95 masks, it’s best not to make alterations to the mask. You can still decorate the string to make it more personalized, however.
To keep younger children motivated, you can discuss superheroes that wear masks, saying that the mask helps keep everyone around them safe. Introduce the mask during playtime and show them how it works by putting it on a doll or teddy bear.
Incorrect usage of face masks lowers their functionality. Get your kids to practice at home at least a few times before they wear the mask outside their home. You’ll have to ensure that:
- They aren’t touching the mask unnecessarily (if they’re adjusting it routinely, it could be because the mask doesn’t fit properly)
- They aren’t removing the mask or pulling it down every few minutes.
- Make sure they wear and take off the mask with clean, sanitized hands.
Your child’s safety is always a top priority, but even more so during this time. It’s easy to let our fears get the best of us, but it’s essential to remember: stay alert, not anxious.
Keep track of what credible authorities are saying and take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your family safe.
If you’re looking to buy high-quality personal protective equipment, Safety 1st PPE offers a variety of related products for adults and children. You can buy disposal face masks, washable face masks, surgical masks, and n95 face masks online from the comfort of your home.
Call 469-626-0056 or visit our website to find out more.