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Children’s hospital offers tips for parents on kids and mask-wearing

The team at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital has created a comprehensive tip sheet for families with children who may find it challenging to wear a mask.
By: Alison Larabie Chase
July 14, 2020
Yoshiyasu Nishikawa / Flickr

Mandatory mask-wearing is becoming common in municipalities across Canada. As adults, we understand the importance of masks and how they can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But children may find masks daunting, scary, or just plain uncomfortable, and any other challenges they have (such as autism, breathing problems, chronic illnesses, or anxiety) can exacerbate the issue.

The experts at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto have some helpful advice for parents to make mask-wearing easier and normalize it for their children, as well as strategies to deal with feedback from others if it turns out their child really cannot wear a mask in public, which may sometimes be the case.

Some of the tips include talking to kids about masks using age-appropriate language, viewing story books or videos about mask-wearing, creating reward systems, and modelling proper mask-wearing for children. There are also prompts for responding calmly and factually to people who may ask why a child isn’t wearing a mask while out and about.

The tip sheet is available online (with useful links to other resources) and as a downloadable PDF.

Source: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

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