Singapore is slowly easing up their restrictions when it comes to schools reopening its doors to students as mentioned here. Since June 2, kids started going back to school; however, they need to wear a face shield or mask at all times. For parents, this requirement can be difficult because kids will definitely find it hard to keep their masks or shields on.
If you are worried about your child’s response to wearing their masks or shields all day, there’s a short guide to help you teach your child its importance and keep it on during the day:
Face Shield vs Mask: Pros & Cons
Face shields are popular in many preschools and primary schools in Singapore since the Ministry of Education announced that they will provide them for students. Here are the pros and cons of using them:
Pros of Face shields
- Comfort: Face shields won’t cling in their face like a mask through time.
- Better for learning: Young students, especially kids learning how to speak, will find it easier to learn if they can see people’s expression and mouth movement as they speak if they wear face shields. Teachers will also find it easier to correct students because they can see what the student is saying and correct them if necessary.
- Easy to clean: To clean face shields, you can wipe it clean with an antibacterial wipe and let it dry before next use.
Cons of Face shields
- Not completely effective: The Ministry of Health announced on June 2 that these face shields are not as effective in protecting your kids from the virus and must be used only by children under 12 years old.
- Requires constant cleaning: It can also fog up as your child’s breath touches it
- Does not always fit properly: Face shields may not fit your child’s face depending on their size.
Meanwhile, face masks are recommended because of its benefits that face shields cannot provide to users.
Pros of Face Masks
- Available in various options: Face masks come in various styles, colours and fabrics to fit any type of users.
- Lightweight: Since they are made from fabrics, it is easy to bring around and can be stored easily. It also doesn’t feel heavy to wear
- Great protection: Since masks fit the face perfectly, it can protect both the user’s nose and mouth from droplets.
Cons of Face Masks
- Uncomfortable to use in long periods: Users may find it hard to keep their face masks on since masks can get hot and stick to the skin. It will cause them to remove the mask and touch their face.
- Requires careful cleaning: To make sure it is free from any virus or bacteria, it must be cleaned every use and dried correctly.
- May require constant fitting: If a user removes the mask and puts it back on, it may create gaps where droplets can enter.
How Can I Help My Child to Wear and Keep Their Mask on All The Time
Your child’s reaction to a mask can vary, especially if they were given the right explanation about using them.
Some children may find wearing a mask scary because they may think it is related to sickness. They may also find it hard to talk to people because the mask is hiding their friendly face and they don’t feel safe talking to someone wearing a mask.
Others may think it is a new superhero look and they will happily wear them. A few will not question it and do their best to wear them comfortably.
With these reactions in mind, here are some of the ways you can help your children get used to mask and keep them on for a long time:
Primary & Secondary Schoolers
- Understand their reactions
It is pretty normal for kids to be reluctant or cautious when they are trying something new. It will take time for them to understand why masks are important and get comfortable in wearing them. Previously, we explained the circuit breaker restrictions to our children, now we need to explain to them why masks are necessity.
- Show your support
Little kids will look up to you when they need some support. Give them the right support by being there for them and let them know they are safe.
- Make them laugh
Wearing masks doesn’t have to be scary. Use your imagination and find ways to make them have fun wearing their masks. It will relax your child and inspire them to wear their mask.
- Help them get used to the mask
Before going to school, practice your children in wearing their masks. Constant practice will help them get used to it and wear it for a long time.
- Decorate their masks
If you want to help them get used to a mask, you can make them more comfortable by wearing them by letting them decorate it. It will give them more reasons to wear it and inspire others to do the same thing with their masks.
- Make masks at home
Masks can be done with various fabrics if you don’t want to buy one. Encourage them to help you select the fabrics for their masks and even let them sew them together.
- Have masks ready for them to play with
This will inspire your child to think of ways to use the mask why they play and see it as a normal part of their routine like practising washing hands or practising other safety measures here. If they put the masks on their dolls or teddy bears, ask them why it is wearing a mask and clear out any wrong thoughts about the mask depending on their answer.
Where to buy masks and shields for kids locally
If you still do not have face masks and face shields for your children, there are a lot of stores offline and online that offer great choices.
While the MOE will be providing face shields and masks to all of the country’s preschool and primary school students, it is best to have one on hand in case your child loses theirs.
Here are some of the stores you can check out:
- Independent Market
The shop offers a set of 4 reusable masks that come in various designs for kids. They even come with pockets for PM2.5 filters.
- Sea Apple
This shop was launched by the COVID Migrant Support Coalition to support migrant workers through its masks. Their masks are washable and also come with filter pockets.
- Hiro and Jack
This shop sells 5-ply reusable masks that offer greater protection since they are similar to a N95 mask.
- 1929 Mask
This textile producer offers antibacterial and washable masks for users. They also offer mask extenders in case you need a better fit for their masks.
- Wonder Pads
This shop originally sells reusable sanitary pads, but in light of the pandemic, they are now selling unique cloth masks made from fabrics featuring famous characters and designs.
Face Shields can be bought in popular e-commerce platform such as Carousell and Shopee. You simply type in “kid face shields” and pick the one that fits your child’s needs.
In today’s current climate, it is important that we help our kids stay protected in any way possible including watching their diet.
With face masks and face shields, it can protect them while they are in school and outdoors. If you think your child will not like to keep their mask on while in school, try your best to improve their experience and explain why they are important.
Eventually, your child will get used to wearing masks and keep them on to stay safe.
For recent updates on Covid-19 measures, do check out these articles:
What will Education Overseas Look Like After COVID-19 Pandemic
Singapore Direct School Admission Exercise to Continue Amid COVID-19 Pandemic