Tips for Mask Wearing

Tuesday January 5, 2021 at 3:15 PM


Tips for Mask Wearing

In today’s blog we are providing you with some strategies to help your child tolerate wearing a mask. Wearing a mask can be an adjustment for anyone but is especially challenging for children who might have increased sensory needs. We hope you find these quick tips helpful in increasing your child’s success with wearing a mask.

Start Small

If your child has struggled with wearing a mask, start presenting the mask only in small durations and work your way up. If your child removes the mask immediately or attempts to push the mask away when it is presented, start by only requiring them to wear the mask for 1-2 seconds, or maybe you just place the mask in front of their face without actually putting it all the way on over the ears. Then, immediately remove the mask, and provide praise and something that they really enjoy such as a video, activity, or snack item. When you are helping your child learn to wear a mask, providing something exciting after they successfully wear the mask, no matter for how long, is extremely important!

Once they are successfully tolerating these very brief instances, you can start to increase the amount of time. For example, if you start with 1-3 seconds, then you can increase to 5-10 seconds, then up to 20 or 30 seconds, then 45 seconds, then a minute. Once you get to a larger amount of time, like 1 minute, kids will often become more tolerant and you can increase the time by larger increments.

Wear the Mask During Enjoyable Activities

Once your child is starting to tolerate wearing a mask for longer periods of time (even 30 seconds or a minute), you can encourage your child to tolerate wearing a mask by having them wear the mask when they are participating in their favorite activities. If your child has a show or video that they love, turn the video on while you have them wearing their mask. If your child removes the mask, you can pause the video and ask them to put it back on before playing the video again. This helps to pair mask-wearing with a preferred activity and can help serve as a distraction while they get used to this new feeling.

Everyone has had to adjust to this new normal and for some it has been more difficult than others. Starting with small increments and pairing the mask with exciting activities can help increase your child’s success with wearing a mask. We hope you found these strategies helpful!

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