Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control to help stop the spread of COVID-19, wearing a face-covering in public is part of our daily routine. This also includes children two years and older. We are asked to wear masks or face coverings when outside the home, especially in places where we may not be able to avoid staying six feet away from others, to prevent the spread of virus-containing droplets when we talk, laugh, cough or sneeze.
So if it’s time for a trip to the pediatrician or the grocery store, how can you get your child to wear a mask without a huge struggle?
Here are some tips to help your child wear a mask:
- Set the example – wear a mask and encourage your child to copy you.
- Let children see themselves in the mirror wearing their mask.
- Let them choose or decorate their mask.
- Make a mask together or use a fabric with their favorite characters.
- Make a mask for their favorite stuffed animal or toy.
- Practice wearing the mask at home before going out. This includes showing children how to take the mask on and off.
- Limit their time in the mask – let kids take their mask off in the car.
- Give them a small toy to occupy their hands instead of fidgeting with their (or your) mask.
- Make it a game with a small prize for wearing their mask during a particular appointment or task outside the home.
- For older children, tell them that wearing a mask is an act of kindness. Just like they’ve been taught to cover their cough and sneeze into their elbow, wearing a mask helps prevent germs from spreading and getting others sick.
Finding the right fit for your child is also important. Your child’s mask should do the following:
- Cover both the nose and mouth
- Stretch from ear to ear
- Fit snugly but shouldn’t be too tight
- Be held in place by strings around the ears (and use the strings to put on and take off the mask)
- Be washed daily, if at all possible (try to have more than one mask available)
Many companies and small businesses offer child-sized masks in fun prints and patterns. Check social media and company websites for purchasing opportunities.
Remember, children two years old and younger should not wear a face covering. Instead, place a blanket over the stroller or baby carrier.
For the past 25 years, Children’s Primary Care Medical Group has been the region’s only health network focused solely on children, their health and well-being. All 29 Children’s Primary Care Medical Group offices in San Diego and southwest Riverside County are open to provide the best pediatric healthcare for your children including: Complimentary prenatal visits, newborn care, developmental screenings and guidance, behavioral consultations, teen healthcare, 24/7 telephone medical advice from a registered nurse, well visits, camp and sports physicals and weight management and nutrition tips. You will also have 24/7 secure, online access to your child’s health records, same day walk-in appointments, video visits, evening and weekend hours and referrals to specialists at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego as needed. Call the CPCMG Welcome Center at 858-502-1177 or visit cpcmg.net to find the CPCMG pediatrician in your neighborhood.