Earlier this year, as it became apparent that COVID-19 was not going away, schools around the country began closing as states implemented quarantine restrictions. At first, many thought they’d be able to re-open their doors within weeks. However, the virus continued to spread, and children finished out the school year at home. While it may have been fun to have the extra family time, many parents are eager to get their kids back to school this fall. Children need the social interaction that schools provide, and they need the structure of a classroom setting. But getting back to normal shouldn’t come at the risk of your child’s health, which is why face masks are so important.
Staying Safe in School
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published Considerations for Schools, which is a list of ways that schools can help to keep children safe.
- Stay home when appropriate
- Wear cloth face coverings
- Practice proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Provide adequate sanitation supplies, including hand sanitizer and soap
- Post signs reminding people to practice safe social distancing and other everyday habits to prevent the spread of germs
- Make announcements about how to reduce the spread of COVID-19
The Importance of Masks
A top safety precaution recommended by the CDC is “wear cloth face coverings.” Even the World Health Organization has published advice on using face masks to contribute to the prevention of the pandemic. Multiple studies have shown that wearing masks can prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and slow down the spread of the virus. Wearing a face mask can help protect yourself and potentially others if you have the virus and are asymptomatic.
Children and Masks
While it has been tough to convince some adults to wear masks when they are in public, convincing your children can be even more challenging. Before you expect your child to wear a mask, you should explain to them why it is necessary in terms that they can understand. Children look to adults to set an example, especially when it comes to safety, so the first step is to make sure you are wearing your mask.
Young children may need extra support as they head to school, where everyone has their face covered by a mask. They rely on familiar faces and facial expressions to help them feel safe. It’s important to make sure children are given time at home to practice wearing their masks and seeing others wearing masks.
How to Wear a Face Mask
One of the most important parts in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to make sure that you and your children are wearing your masks correctly. A face mask offers the most protection when it completely covers your mouth and nose. It should also fit snugly around your face. Be sure to wash your hands before putting your mask on and taking it off. And of course, make sure you can breathe through your mask. Teaching children how to properly wear their masks is key to ensuring their protection and safety.
Make It Fun
One of the best ways to get children excited about wearing a face mask is to let them pick out their own masks. Hoo-rags has a variety of kid-sized bandanas that come in fun patterns and designs and are specially made to fit their smaller heads. Allowing them to choose their own masks gives them a sense of ownership and control over the situation. It also allows them to express their personal sense of style while providing them protection. Bandanas are a great mask option because of their versatility. When not needed, they can be worn around the neck, as a beanie, as a headband, and even as a ponytail holder.
Stock Up Now
As schools around the country prepare to open with precautions this fall, it’s important that parents give their children the tools they need to maximize their safety. As you are stocking up on school supplies like pencils and paper, don’t forget the hand sanitizer. And don’t forget to stock up on Hoo-rag bandanas for the entire family and maybe even a few for your favorite teachers.