Tips: How do I teach my child to put on a mask? - Autism Partnership Singapore

How do I teach my child to put on a mask?

With the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus, it is important that we take the necessary precautions to protect our children and loved ones. One way that we can do so is to have your child wear a mask when going out or when he/she is feeling unwell.

We understand that many parents may find it very difficult to put on a mask for their children. As sometimes, they may throw a tantrum, resist wearing one or try to remove it as they find it uncomfortable. This can be a very stressful time for the parent or caregiver, and also making the experience negative for the child.

In this article, our Senior Case Supervisor, Edith Kho, has shared tips on how you can get your child to put on a mask in a more positive way. Getting an older child to wear a mask can not only protect him or her from potentially infectious germs and thus falling sick, but also from the haze we sometimes experience here in Singapore.

Do note that for younger children below the age of three, mask-wearing is not recommended, as the use of a face mask can increase the resistance to breathing and cause hypoventilation. (Mount Elizabeth, 2020)

In the video below (filmed before the Circuit Breaker was enforced), you will see that one of our students, Jamie, was not very willing to wear a mask when instructed to. He displayed some non-compliant behaviours. As his therapists had worked on his communication skills previously, he was able to communicate his dislike by saying, ‘I don’t want’.

Getting your child to put on a mask for the first time:

Step 1: Finding a suitable mask

Before introducing your child to a mask, the first step is to find a suitable face mask that fits your child and one that is recommended and approved. To ensure the effectiveness and reduce transmission of droplets, make sure that:
• The top of the mask is moulded over the bridge of your child’s nose
• The bottom of the mask covers the chin.
• The mask is clean and dry.
Read more on choosing a suitable mask here: https://www.mountelizabeth.com.sg/healthplus/article/masks-children-effective-suitable#content