Parents know. Tantrums over wearing a mask in public. Complaints of masks being too itchy or too tight.
It begs the question: How will young children learn to keep the mask on for long periods of time?
As the world enters a new normal, children must also become used to wearing face coverings in public, whether it’s to the grocery store or playdates. With school re-opening plans taking shape and many pre-schools and day cares re-opening in August, parents are concerned about their young children keeping their masks on for full school days.
In Florida, the children’s positivity rate for COVID-19 started a conversation about children as carriers, even as Gov. Ron Desantis pushes for schools to reopen.
“We don’t really know how long we’re going to have to be facing this virus,” said Maribel Del Río-Roberts, an associate professor at Nova Southeastern University focusing on autism and developmental disabilities. “I think it’s very important for children to wear masks if they’re going to be in any capacity around any children or adults.”
For special needs children, it can be even more difficult to encourage mask-wearing. We spoke to experts at Nova Southeastern University and NSU’s Mailman Segal Center for Human Development for tips on how to encourage long-term mask wearing among all children.