Talking with Kids About Wearing a Mask

​​​Wearing a mask or face covering has been found to be one of the most effective ways to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Covering your face and mouth can help stop the virus that causes COVID-19 from reaching others, as well as stopping the virus from reaching the wearer. The more people wear masks when out in public -- along with following other health and safety procedures such as social distancing and proper hand hygiene -- the less chance the virus has of spreading.

Even though Rockwood students will not be in a school setting for the first quarter of the 2020-2021 academic school year, it is still important for parents to impress upon them the importance of wearing a mask in public places, as well as outdoors when social distancing of 6 feet or more between people is not possible.

KidsHealth.org has some tips for parents who are looking for ways to help their children become comfortable with wearing a mask or face covering:

  • Help kids get used to masks. As much as you can, give kids time to practice wearing their masks before they might need to wear one outside of your home. Teach them how to put them on and take them off.
  • Encourage kids to decorate their mask. This might help them feel a sense of ownership and control over the situation. A personal touch can help make it more of a normal part of their routine, and make it more likely they'll want to wear their mask. Depending on the type of mask, kids can draw on it with markers or put stickers on it.
  • Make them together. If you make masks or cloth face coverings at home, let older kids help you. There are no-sew masks that are easy to make, often with materials you probably already have (T-shirts, bandannas, etc.). If you sew masks, maybe kids can select the fabric or patterns for the masks they'll wear.
  • Help make it fun. With younger kids, introduce a sense of play. Kids can pretend to be a doctor or nurse while wearing their masks. They might want to use a doctor kit and "take care" of a stuffed animal or doll.
  • Have a few masks handy while kids play. This lets them use their imagination about how to use them during playtime. It also helps make masks a more normal part of their everyday world. You can ask your child to put a mask on a stuffed animal, and then ask follow-up questions about why the stuffed animal is wearing the mask. Depending on your child's response, you can clear up any confusion and offer reassurance.​