Oh no, my child is not wearing a mask!
We do have a lot of parents enquiring about the necessity of their child wearing a mask. It is recommended that children above the age of 2 should wear masks to protect themselves and those around them.
You can make adjustments to the reusable masks distributed by the Government to fit your child, or create your mask out of fabric or other similar materials, with the purpose of covering your child's nose and mouth to reduce transmission of droplets.
Mask-wearing is not recommended for young children below the age of two for child safety reasons. Medical experts have also advised that some groups may have difficulties, including children with special needs and young children aged two and above, and we will exercise flexibility in enforcement for these groups.
You may find the above answer with COVID-19 Info Bot, and here is the link: https://www.gov.sg/infobot.
Continuation from yesterday's recommendation on a website shared by the team at Child Development Unit Khoo Teck Puat – National University Children's Medical Institute, let's touch on the issue of mask today!
<<A guide to help your child wear a mask!>>
We have attached the image files for easy referencing. You may read through the full details from there, or download the full PDF link. (https://www.nuh.com.sg/our-services/Specialties/Paediatrics/Documents/Wearing%20a%20Mask.pdf)
Highlighting a few pointers~
Tier 1: General Education
1. Help your child understand
Explain the situation to them in simple terms The importance and necessity to wear a mask when heading out If your child is more visual, you may use an example of a social story to share about wearing a mask: https://paautism.org/resource/wearing-mask-social-story/
2. Praise generously "WOW! I like how you are wearing your mask!" Praises work very well for young children!
3. Show the way - Show your child that nothing bad will happen if you wear a mask. Sometimes they are just a bit scared of new things!
Tier 2: Targeted Support
1. Start small Start with short durations (even a few seconds). The length of time may vary depending on your child's level of tolerance. Gradually increase the duration.
2. Practice at home & Keep it fun Be an example and role model for your child! Wear it a short period at home! Make everyone join in!
3. Make masks a must Negotiate with your child. If he/she wishes to head out of the house with you, he/she has to wear a mask. Use lots of visual cues to aid your child in understanding!
Not to worry if none of the above works! Some children may need individualised help and guidance from a professional to get familiarise with wearing a mask.
For example, in our centre we use lots of visual cues to guide our children to follow instructions, to obey rules, and to learn new skills or things!
Expect some crying and fussing, but ultimately, it's for your child's health and also for the entire household. Please be responsible and start introducing the need to wear a mask to your child tonight!
Love, Team CPEIC