As we prepare to reopen NTPA facilities, NTPA staff have brought together 25 professionals including medical doctors, legal counsel, board members and others to form the NTPA Reopening Task Force. The Task Force has put together a thorough set of safety protocols for summer camps, which open on June 1. As part of these safety protocols, all students will be required to wear a mask while attending summer camp. This will likely be a new experience for many children attending camp. To help prepare summer campers for this, Task Force member Dr. Jenny Duewall has suggested the following tips for preparing children to wear a mask.
The level of discussion that you need to have and steps for preparing your child for wearing a mask will vary based on the age of your child and their knowledge of what is happening with COVID-19.
- Make sure you are talking about wearing a mask days or weeks before the child will be expected to put on a mask.
- Choose a time to talk about wearing a mask when your child is comfortable and can focus on the conversation.
- Talk about the importance of wearing a mask in simple terms.
- Allow your child to ask questions and express their feelings.
- Make children’s masks individual and unique for them. Find a mask in a fun pattern that they will like or let them decorate the outside of a mask with fabric markers. (Note: masks should be washed before and after wear)
- Practice taking the mask on and off at home as well as wearing the mask for progressively longer periods of time. Work up to the length of time they will need to wear the mask while out of the house.
- For older children, stress the importance of wearing a mask and explain that it helps keep you and others safe.
- Follow up with your child after they’ve worn the mask in public. Ask about their experience and address any questions they may have.
Mask Safety Video Series
NTPA Reopening Task Force Member, Dr. Jenny Duewall, explains why wearing a mask is important, how to talk to children about wearing a mask, and proper methods for putting on and taking off a mask.