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Tips to help young children get comfortable with masks

Whether their teacher will be wearing one this fall, or they will be required to wear one themselves (or both!), here are some tips to help children adjust.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Masks are a part of our lives for the foreseeable future, and it's important for children to get used to seeing them on others and wearing them in public. 

13 ON YOUR SIDE spoke with holistic child psychologist Dr. Nicole Beurkens who shared some helpful insight to help children adjust to this new normal.

Many parents are concerned about how to help their young children learn to tolerate masks and keep them on when required. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Provide simple explanations about why we are wearing masks.
  • Let kids them choose their own mask colors, prints, and characters. 
  • Make sure the fit is comfortable, and teach them how to take their mask on and off appropriately.
  • Model mask wearing and allow kids to get used to seeing friends and family with masks both in person and in pictures or via video chat.
  • Play with stuffed animals and dolls with masks to keep it playful and build familiarity.
  • Practice with mask wearing for a brief time period, and increase as they become more tolerant. 
  • Offer small rewards such as playing a game or getting a small treat to encourage practice and help them adjust, if needed initially.

For more insights like these, visit Dr. Nicole Beurkens website

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