Wearing a mask in public may be new for children. To help reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID 19), the CDC is recommending everyone wear a face mask (not including children under 2). It is a good idea to acclimate children to face masks before asking them to wear one. Wear them around the house together. Make it part of a superhero “costume” and explain the similarities.
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Kids thrive on a balance of routine and free play. When schools are closed, consider building a flexible daily schedule to help your family run more smoothly! Scroll on to see the scheduling tips and printable charts.
At Home Flexible Daily Schedule for Kids …
Importance of Routines
Routines have a positive impact on kids and families, particularly in times of uncertainty.
- Routines provide kids with a sense of security and stability. This is especially important during times of change or uncertainty.
- Routines create an environment for learning. Routines help kids learn how the world runs, and what they need to do in order to interact successfully in that world. Social skills, hygiene, work and healthy eating habits are all things kids can learn through good routines.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Helping Kids Get Used to Masks
At first, it was mostly doctors, nurses, and others in health care settings who wore masks. But now, as other people wear them, more and more kids are seeing something they’re not used to seeing. For them, it can be strange or a little scary, especially if they need to put on masks too.
Most kids can feel comfortable seeing people in masks, as long as adults:
- Use simple words to explain why people are wearing masks.
- Give kids time to look, watch, and get used to what’s new.
- Answer kids’ questions.
- Give support.
Some toddlers and young children may feel uneasy about masks. They may need extra support and comfort from parents. Parents also can help kids understand why they might need to wear a mask, and make them more comfortable and even fun to wear.
How Do Kids React to Masks?
How kids react to seeing masks partly depends on their age. Older kids might not react much at all. To them, masks might seem like no big deal. Most are able to adjust pretty quickly.
Some kids may even be eager to wear a mask. They might embrace their new look as a medical superhero.
But for babies, toddlers, and young kids, seeing people in masks might take some getting used to. At first, they may feel cautious. They may need a few minutes to look and watch. That can help them get used to what’s new. They may need a parent to gently say, “It’s OK.” That can help them relax.