Parenting Health

How To Get Your Children To Wear Mask When Required

Debashree Bhattacharya
3 to 7 years

Created by Debashree Bhattacharya
Updated on Feb 25, 2020

How To Get Your Children To Wear Mask When Required
Reviewed by Expert panel

There is no denying the fact that air pollution is one of the deadliest threats that can harm us from both inside and outside. And when it comes to the case of small children the entire situation becomes more dangerous as small children are really vulnerable and more prone to airborne diseases like asthma, dust allergy, eye irritation, viral fever and many more. The recent case of Coronavirus is another glaring instance of air pollution.

To deal with this burning issue of air pollution, the use of face masks can be a really good solution. But here comes the real challenge for the parents. How to choose the correct mask and how to make my child put on the mask. Truly speaking, it is a time-taking process. You cannot expect that you will make your children put on the masks and they will happily put them on without showing any resistance. So, you have started your preparation before the actual trial.

What Your Child Should Know About Air Pollution

The most important thing to fight against this air pollution is to educate our children to know about it through age-appropriate words. We should explain air pollution and its harmful effects to the children. Pollution can cause breathing problems, itching in eyes and many more serious health issues that can affect their performance in academics and sports. So it is always better to use a mask so that the air pollution cannot come in contact with them.

Benefits Of Using A Mask For Children

Not only children but sometimes we adults also don't follow a precautionary measure unless we are informed and explained the benefits that it offers us.

Always use simple language while explaining the benefits of wearing a mask. Tell them that they will not fall sick easily if they wear the mask. Explain to them that the chance of suffering from breathing problems and several kinds of airborne diseases can be avoided. Make them aware of the recent outbreak of Coronavirus and swine flu also.

Let them understand that they can perform better in their academics and sports with a healthy body. And for this purpose, masks can play an important role in their life.

Which is the right anti-pollution mask?

1) P-rated masks

The best masks to buy for kids are P-rated masks (P95, P99 or P100 masks), which provide protection against not just particulate matter but also oil-based pollutants like gasoline, diesel, and so on. These masks, however, are quite expensive and not very easily available.

2) N-rated masks

The alternative is N-rated masks (N95, N99 and N100), that are not oil-resistant but provide protection from particulate matter. In the case of N95 masks, it’s efficacy is 95 per cent, 99 per cent in case of N99 and 100 per cent in case of N100.

Doctors usually recommend N99 or N100 masks for better protection.

How to choose the right mask

Here are some tips parents need to keep in mind:

1.  When you are buying a mask, make sure there is a special valve or channel in it to take the exhaled air out.

2. It is equally important to ensure you buy the right mask size for your child. The bridge of the nose should get support from the mask. The nose, mouth and chin should all be adequately covered but not over-cover the kid’s face.

3. Check the mask for air leaks to make sure you have bought the correct size.

Look for Child-Friendly Masks

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer as to the best brand and model for kids.

However, the 3M N95 rated masks are always considered the first choice “gold standard” in research tests. The 3M masks are the most widely used pollution masks in the world.

Vogmask is another well known foreign brand that makes a series of masks very comfortable for small faces.

'Respro' is a famous brand that has made anti-pollution masks for children for the past many years. Yet, they still now didn't make any mask that can be recommended for children below 11 years.

Danish studio Kilo Design has created a mask to protect and educate children living in areas with very high levels of air pollution. The mask's HEPA filter protects the wearer from 95 per cent of airborne particles.

Prana Air, an Indian brand last year launched anti-pollution junior masks.

The 2-way motor helps purify the air faster which ensures that the children do not inhale toxic elements from the air and easily releases the buildup of CO2 exhaled. Hence, the N-95 pollution mask provides fresh, breathable air to the kids.

The children's masks by SG Health are made of ultra-soft fabric that is gentle on the skin and provides comfortable-fit for all age group people. It comes with adjustable straps and a soft nose pad to ensure you feel at ease while wearing a face mask. These masks come with chemically treated activated carbon filtration that protects you from harmful bacteria and pollution.

How Can I Start The Preparation?

Some Easy DIY Ideas:

  • First of all, ask your children to wear the mask and allow them to keep it on their face so that they can be free from initial fear.
  • You can place the mask on the face of your child's favourite soft toy while explaining the usefulness of a mask. 
  • You can buy a silly nose for you and can tell your children that their mask is more or less the same kind of thing like your silly nose. 
  • You can buy another mask for yourself and put on that one in front of your children to make them feel that there is nothing to be scared of. 
  • Always keep calm and maintain a matter-of-fact voice while introducing the mask to your children. 
  • Decorate the mask so that it looks more personalised and full of fun.
  • Show your children pictures of other children wearing masks.
  • Draw a mask on their favourite book character.

How Can I Make The Process Comfortable?

  • Try the session when your child is in a good mood.
  • Be mentally prepared that you will receive lots of resistance from your child. So keep patience and always appreciate the effort of your child with lots of positive feedback.
  • Maintain a fixed routine, try at least 2 to 3 times per day.
  • Don't try the session if your child is sick or sleeping.
  • Always encourage your child to keep calm and breathe nicely during the session.
  • Never approach from the back. Children will get scared. Try from the front and speak with them in a positive tone.
  • Slowly place the mask on your child's face and keep it there initially for 5 to 10 seconds while motivating them with lots of encouraging words.
  • You can reward your children with some small gifts as a token of appreciation. It will act as positive reinforcement. You can allow them to watch their favourite cartoons once they put on the mask. 
  • Always keep eye contact with them and never stop talking with them.

In conclusion, I would like to say that these anti-pollution masks are extremely important things that can do real wonders to save our children from various kinds of airborne diseases. We parents have to be a little bit creative and innovative while introducing an anti-pollution mask to our children. We should try to set an example for the children to give them a sense of security and confidence. If we parents and children work together it will surely turn into an educational and fun-filled session.

Please let me know your opinion and feedback in the comment section below.

References:

1.  Type of Masks with Different Qualities: Air pollution: How to pick the right mask for your child | Indianexpress

2.  Help fitting the kids' mask: How effective are kid's masks at filtering air pollution? | Smartairfilters.com

3.  The benefit of Wearing Mask in Pollution: Pollution Masks For Children: A Review | myhealthbeijing.com

4. Masks appealing to Children/designed especially for children: Kilo Design's Woobi Play air-pollution mask is designed to appeal to children | Dezeen.com; Junior Pollution Mask For Children | HEPA Filter | PM2.5, N95 ✅ | pranaair.com;  Anti Pollution Mask For Kids | sghealth.in

 

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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