Member question:

For those with younger children-how do you help them become comfortable with people wearing face mask? I took my 2 yr old to her well check today and she was shaking in fear from people around her wearing face-masks. She is okay with me wearing one, but others-it’s terrifying. She is not going to be out much in general but I don’t want every time to be terrifying for her either!


Rachel’s response:

Oh no, I’m sure that was hard on both of you!

With a 2 year old, I’d definitely use play to give her a sense of control and safety. Here are some examples:
*Have her put masks on her stuffed animals (or whatever she plays with). Depending on how verbal she is, ask her to tell the stuffed animals while she’s putting it on them that the masks are there to help (or you say this part if she can’t yet).

*Together, give silly names to masks. Call one “Harold” and one “Gertrude” etc.

When you use play and silliness between times of exposure to the masks, she’ll start to have a more positive association with them.

Then, before you go out next time, you can suggest something she can do (squeeze your hand, call a mask by a silly name) when she starts to feel scared.