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Doctor shares ways parents can make masks easy to wear for younger school children

"You can tell them they are a superhero because the mask is helping to stop this pandemic," Dr. Carla Garcia Carreno said.

Adjusting to life with masks is hard enough for adults and now children will be asked to wear them for several hours a day as many return to school on campus. 

Dr. Carla Garcia Carreno is the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist at Children’s Health and said parents should help make masks a habit and part of a routine, especially for younger children.

“It is kind of like giving them something that is empowering,” said Carreno. “You can tell them they are a superhero because the mask is helping to stop this pandemic.”

Masks with themes or fashionable colors are also a good way to get kids excited about wearing them. Carreno suggests parents pack multiple masks in their children’s backpack each day in case one gets soiled or lost.

Children’s Health compiled a list of seven ways parents can make mask-wearing a fun habit for their kids, while also stressing the importance of wearing them.

An entire school day is a long time to wear a mask but that does not mean there will not be opportunities to get some fresh air. Gary Busby, the Emergency Services Director at Medical City Frisco, thinks a “mask break” is a good idea when time and social distancing allows.

“I do recommend, especially for smaller kids, any opportunity to have a mask break would be beneficial,” said Busby. “If you are someplace where you can provide social distancing, absolutely you can take a mask break.”

But masks are only part of the equation. Busby said parents should stress the importance of hygiene before sending their kids off to school.

“Good hand hygiene is especially important for kids.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks for children ages 2 and older. The Texas state mask mandate applies to children 10 and up. However, many Texas school districts are requiring masks for their students.