Kids and masks during the COVID-19 pandemic: 7 questions, answered

Wearing a mask when out in public is one of the easiest ways to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, especially by those who may be infected and not yet realize it. But it’s not just adults who need to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kids do, too. So, how young is too young to wear a mask? Why do some children resist it so fiercely? And how can parents get their kids more comfortable with wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic? We spoke with Nicole Rosburg, manager of our Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Life Program, who works with our pediatric cancer patients to get them to wear masks. Here’s what she had to say. Why is it important for children to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic? What should parents tell their kids about wearing a mask? It’s important to help kids understand that wearing a mask helps protect the people around us. We know that wearing a mask provides more protection for others than it does for ourselves. But we also know that children can be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. So, if they’re masked, they’re less likely to transmit the virus to others. Children have a lot fewer inhibitions than adults. So, if they see something interesting, they’re much more likely to run at it. Kids aren’t worrying about the risks. They just think, “Oh, it’s so exciting to see Aunt Cathy! I’m going over there right now.” They don’t have that internal locus of control to put on the brakes, before somebody else says, “Stop!” Wearing a mask protects others...

Kids and masks during the COVID-19 pandemic: 7 questions, answered

Wearing a mask when out in public is one of the easiest ways to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, especially by those who may be infected and not yet realize it. But it’s not just adults who need to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kids do, too. So, how young is too young to wear a mask? Why do some children resist it so fiercely? And how can parents get their kids more comfortable with wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic? We spoke with Nicole Rosburg, manager of our Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Life Program, who works with our pediatric cancer patients to get them to wear masks. Here’s what she had to say. Why is it important for children to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic? What should parents tell their kids about wearing a mask? It’s important to help kids understand that wearing a mask helps protect the people around us. We know that wearing a mask provides more protection for others than it does for ourselves. But we also know that children can be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. So, if they’re masked, they’re less likely to transmit the virus to others. Children have a lot fewer inhibitions than adults. So, if they see something interesting, they’re much more likely to run at it. Kids aren’t worrying about the risks. They just think, “Oh, it’s so exciting to see Aunt Cathy! I’m going over there right now.” They don’t have that internal locus of control to put on the brakes, before somebody else says, “Stop!” Wearing a mask protects others...