Getting your child comfortable seeing masks:
Babies and children rely on facial expressions as communication signals to feel safe. However, this can be challenging when older children and adults have half their face covered with a mask, and children can no longer see smiles or friendly faces. Some children may be nervous or frightened when seeing someone in a mask, while others might not react at all.
Wear a mask at home first
When the first time your child sees you or someone else wearing a mask is in public, it might make them confused and upset. You may want to wear a mask for a short period of time inside the home so your child can get used to seeing you in one while inside a safe and comforting place. If your child gets used to you or other family members wearing a mask, then it may feel more normal once they see strangers wearing them in public.
Use comforting words
It’s important to use soothing words to comfort your child if they seem uneasy about being around you or others who are wearing masks, and constantly reassure them that everything is ok. Being calm and explaining why you are wearing a mask will also make children become curious and interested about them, inspiring them to ask questions so that they can learn.
Since children can become more uneasy when they can’t see a friendly face, make sure to act happy and positive. This will help masks seem less scary if the person wearing one is smiling through their eyes and having a good time. Making children laugh or being silly can also help ease the tension to show them that you can still have fun while wearing something unfamiliar.
Mask wearing for children:
The World Health Organisation states that children under 11 are not required to wear a face covering in public. However, if your child is under age 11 and over the age of 2, and you feel more comfortable that they wear one in certain circumstances, please read our tips below.
Make it fun
To help your child wear a mask, it’s a great idea to get them involved in the initial process of making or getting one. You can make your own masks together at home, or have your child choose the one they like from a shop. If your child has their say on which mask they prefer, they will be more likely to want to wear it.
Make it part of playtime
Including masks with toys and activities may encourage children to use them in their imaginative play. Putting a mask on a stuffed toy can also be a great and fun teaching tool to explain the importance of mask wearing, as well as the correct way to wear one.
Lead by example
Set a good example by having the older members in your family wear a mask when out in public. Children learn by copying and if you make sure to always wear one when you are supposed to, then your child will be more likely to want to wear one as well.
Seeing people wearing masks can be a new and challenging time for babies, toddlers and young children. It’s important to show your child that masks are normal so that they can begin to see them as a regular part of daily life.
Please note that our nursery practitioners do not wear masks when with the children, and we also do not require any children to wear masks at Green Roots.
For more information on our Covid-19 procedures, please click here.
For government updates and information about Covid-19, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus