NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Even though summer is just getting going, the upcoming school year is on many parents’ minds.
When students go back to class, it’s likely they’ll be wearing masks for most of the day.
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Are schools going to open in the fall? Are students going to be doing remote learning or going in shifts? Many school districts like Summit, N.J. say they will have in-person classes five days a week. And Summit, like virtually every school that will have face-to-face teaching, will require that kids wear masks, or some sort of approved face covering.
Here’s how you can get your children ready.
Kids need to feel some measure of control. Empower them by letting them pick their own mask and decorate them. But one size mask does not fit all. Try a few different sizes, styles, and materials to get one that fits and is comfortable.
Remember, your child might be wearing a mask for four, five, six hours or more during the school day, so you have to start building mask endurance now.
“In the few weeks we have before returning your child back to school, you need to practice wearing a mask. They need to have tolerance. They need to be able to wear it for more than a minute. As a family, you should be wearing these masks out, getting kids to build up having several hours of wearing a mask,” said Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge of Dr. Roseann & Associates.
Capanna-Hodge, a pediatric mental health specialist, also said parents should be role models. A positive attitude from mom and dad goes a long way in easing your child’s mask anxiety.
Finally, if you’re angry or hate wearing a mask, your child will pick up on that and it’ll make a difficult school experience that much worse.