Parkside Pediatrics

Parkside Pediatrics doctor gives tips on teaching children to wear masks.

(FOX Carolina) -- Some parents say it’s difficult to get their children to wear masks. However, Beth Van Beek says her three girls; Elliece 8, Audrey 6,  and Vivienne 3, easily adapted to the idea.

“I’ve been very cautious to make sure that I’m giving them age-appropriate information,” Van Beek said. 

She says they always wear a mask in public.

“We talked about it being like similar to a superhero mask or characters that they’re familiar with to make it fun,” Van Beek said.

She also told them they’re being a friend by protecting others from a virus, which we know as COVID-19.

“If you make it seem normal and fun then most of the time they’ll kind of fall in line with that,” Dr. Sarah McNemar said.

McNemar is a pediatrician with Parkside Pediatrics in Greenville. She says to make masks comfortable for your children start with letting them wear it a minute at time. Also, let them pick out their own masks, decorate them, put them on stuffed animals, normalize wearing them at home, and give them a reason why they should wear a mask.

“Often times kids will be much more willing to do something when they feel like they’re contributing, than if it’s something they have to do,” McNemar said. “There are times when we do things for other people even when it’s inconvenient for us. And that’s a great lesson for kids to learn at any age.”

McNemar also recommends that children social distance at school and in public and parents should talk to them about it before they run that errand or get to school.

“We’re going to need to air high-five, we’re going to shout how excited we are at them, but we’re going to have to stay close to mom and dad because we don’t want to spread the yucky virus anymore,” McNemar said.

Even though the sisters are also friends, Van Beek says she wants her girls to socialize with others, but only if it’s safe.

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