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Help Your Child Wear a Mask

October 27, 2021
Family Support, Parenting

What is a mask?  

It is a face covering that covers your child’s nose and mouth. It can take many forms such as a cloth mask, a scarf, a ski style neck warmer, a bandana, or a disposable paper mask. If you have questions about when and where your child needs to wear a mask, please review this information from the NYC Department of Health.

Tips to Help Your Child Wear a Mask

Allow your child to choose the mask style that they like.  

  • Your child may be more interested in a mask that they chose.
  • Allow your child the opportunity to touch the mask to determine which style or type they would like.
  • Let them choose the color or pattern, if possible.  

Explain to your child why they need to wear a mask.

  • Be mindful of your child and how information will affect them. Talking about germs may make some kids more anxious.
  • Look at photos of people wearing masks and talk about the masks.
  • Consider using a social story. Here’s how to create a social story.
  • Remember: you may need to talk about this multiple times.

Model mask wearing for your child.

  • Anytime you as a parent or caregiver wear a mask, you are modeling and showing your child how to wear a mask.
  • You can use images or videos as models of how to wear a mask.
  • Practice putting a mask on dolls or stuffed animals.
  • Try some art projects like coloring or drawing a picture of someone wearing a mask.
  • Let your child look at themselves in the mirror with a mask on.

Make it fun!

  • Decorate the mask. Think stickers, glitter, paint, or sequins.
  • Make it a game.
  • Superhero Game: Superheroes wear masks, so practice superhero poses in the mask.
  • Funny Face Game: Practice making funny faces while wearing a mask. Guess what kind of funny face your child is making.

Create a routine around wearing the mask.

  • Pick a specific place to store masks.
  • Think about adding some reinforcement, such as a fun activity or a special treat after wearing a mask.

Additional Resources

Cloth Face Coverings for Children During COVID-19 (updated May 2021)

How to Get Your Kids Comfortable With Wearing Masks, Broken Down by Age

Masks Toolkit

Tips for Helping Kids Wear Masks