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Health Information For Parents
In many places, people are wearing masks when they’re in public because of coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s an important way to help slow the spread of the virus.
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:
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 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.
Some babies, toddlers, and young kids may feel upset or afraid. They might cry, hide their face, or cling to a parent. Soothing words, comfort, and the safety of a parent’s lap can help calm them.
Masks hide part of a person’s face. Young children rely on faces. From the time they are babies, young children look at faces for the signals they need to feel safe.
When faces are partly hidden by masks, kids can’t see the friendly smile or familiar look that usually puts them at ease. When kids can’t see the person’s whole face, it’s harder to feel safe. It’s natural to feel scared.
But slowly and gently, parents can help kids feel more comfortable. Even very young kids can learn that something that seemed too scary at first is not so scary after all.
Cloth face coverings (or a face mask, if you have one) on adults and kids over 2 years old can help slow the spread of the virus. Here are some ways to help kids wear masks when you go out:
If you will wear masks, tell your child, “We might get to wear masks too. We want to stop germs too, right?” Knowing what to expect helps kids of all ages feel prepared and more at ease.
When kids know there are things they can do, they feel confident and more at ease.
If your child seemed upset, worried, or stressed during the visit, doing these things can help:
Play and drawing can help kids work out what they saw and felt. They are a way to rehash and rehearse. And that helps kids feel a little more prepared for next time.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is making people sick with flu-like symptoms. Read this article to learn how to protect your family, and to know when to call your doctor.
Many people – kids and adults – are worried about coronavirus (COVID-19). But anxiety about it doesn’t have to get the upper hand. Here’s how to calm fears and focus on good things.
Your kids are hearing about coronavirus (COVID-19). To make sure they get reliable information, here’s how to talk about it.
Now that coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading through communities in many countries, the best way to fight this spread is for everyone to practice social distancing. Here’s what that means.
We’re learning more about coronavirus (COVID-19) every day. Here are answers to some questions you may have about symptoms, care, and protecting your family.
Here are the 4 best ways everyone (including kids) can help stop coronavirus.
You might think face masks are mostly for the operating room. But during the coronavirus outbreak, you might see more people wearing them. Here’s why.
Adjusting to new routines during the coronavirus pandemic is stressful for everyone, but especially for children with autism who have trouble with change. Here’s how parents can help.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, kids with special health care needs still need routine care. But how they get it might change.
There’s still much to learn about COVID-19. Still, parents wonder what to do if their child gets sick during the pandemic. Here’s what doctors say to do if your child has coronavirus symptoms.
Anyone who is sick â even if they don’t know for sure they have coronavirus (COVID-19) â should stay home unless they need medical care. This helps prevent the illness from spreading to others.
Why is social distancing important? Find out how to keep yourself and other people healthy.
Looking for information about coronavirus (COVID-19)? Find articles and videos that explain what this virus is, how to prepare for it, how to talk to kids about it, and much more.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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