One of the changes that Covid-19 brought to our way of life is the compulsory usage of face masks as a way to prevent the spread of the virus. No one is left out of these precautionary measures, including kids, whether they are at school or in public areas.

Should kids wear medical face masks?

The answer to this question is an emphatic “yes”. Understandably, kids do not always want to wear masks but they have to be helped to adapt to this new “normal”.

However, kids with conditions that make breathing difficult such as cystic fibrosis and cancer should only wear masks in consultation with a medical practitioner.

Also, kids below five years should not wear face masks due to suffocation risk according to the WHO and the UNICEF.

When should kids wear face masks?

Generally, it is expected that children wear masks when they are in school, childcare, or involved in any group activity. Kids are also expected to wear face masks when it is impossible for them to stay 6 feet away from others. For example, at the grocery store, at school, in a playground park, and in a bus, among others. Assuming that a mask shall be changed every 4 hours, it is advised to purchase 3 ply surgical mask in bulk and therefore, make sure that your lovely ones always have a spare mask to stay protected against the virus.

Also, it is important for a child who is physically close to an ill person to use a mask. It is expedient that children engaging in sports and other physical activities do not wear masks so that their breathing is not affected.

To achieve this, it is critical to ensure that all other essential public health measures are put in place, for example:

  1. Maintaining at least 1-meter distance.
  2. Limiting the number of kids playing at a time.
  3. Providing hand hygiene equipment
  4. Encouraging the kids to use them.

The importance of masks to kids

Like every other category of people, the use of masks by kids keeps them from getting infected with the virus. More importantly, it keeps them from spreading it.

Children are less likely to manifest symptoms of the virus: this means that they might not know whether they have it or not. Children need guidance and control and in the absence of this, they can go to any lengths to have fun. In the course of having fun, they can get infected or infect a bunch of people who react more severely to the virus.

Thus, they must make use of face masks. Also, the use of masks helps protect kids with underlying health conditions, especially when they visit health practitioners.

How to help your kids mask up?

For obvious reasons, it might be a challenge to get your child to put on a mask. Children like to be free and comfortable, and truth be told, even for adults, masks are not exactly comfortable. Also, they tend to be hyper and a lot of respiration takes place in the course of all their adventures. With masks on their faces, it won’t be comfortable for them to do all of that.

Nevertheless, safety tops the priority list and they need to be encouraged and made to understand why masks are important.

The following are some tips on how to help your kids mask up.

  1. Explain to your child why masking up is important: Kids want to know why they are doing something before they do it, therefore, you must explain it to them in the simplest of terms. You do not need to complicate things for them, you can tell them that the masks are to keep them and other people from germs. You could also make things more interesting and imaginative by telling them that the masks are shields to protect people from the attacks of “bad guys” (Covid-19).
  2. Provide attractive mask options: Kids love attractive and colorful things and you have the responsibility of providing cute masks for them if you want them to mask up. You can get a collection of masks and let your kids make their choice. It is easier to make them mask up because they get to choose their masks.
  3. Ensure their masks are comfortable.
  4. Practice masking up with them.
  5. Be a good example.

Masks are important for kids as much as they are for others in preventing the spread of the virus. It may be challenging, but you have the responsibility to ensure your kids mask up for their safety and a safer world. Do not forget that not all kids should use face masks.

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