Local Nonprofit Helps Children Adapt to Face Masks
For some children, seeing adults wear face masks can be a scary experience. Thanks to the nonprofit Parents In Community Action (PICA), families will have resources to help their children adapt to the new norm. The nonprofit runs Head Start centers in Hennepin County and has locations in Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park.
“We did a big drive where we had our community and all our volunteers hand sew 1,800 masks and we sent those masks out in care packages to our families because parents are the primary caretakers of their kids. That way they have the opportunity to model wearing masks for their children,” said Nadia Higgins, a nurse at PICA.
PICA is also creating a video showcasing teachers wearing face masks. When parents show the video to their kids, children will hopefully warm up to the new norm in time for school.
“Kids understand covering their coughs, so they can understand masks are an extension of that concept,” said Higgins.
The nurse said parents can help their children overcome the fear of face masks by talking about superheroes wearing masks to keep others safe. She said children can also draw pictures of masks and put masks on stuffed animals.
To help children keep their masks on she suggests come up with a code word or gesture.
“Kids learn well through kinesthetic movements. When you see your kid touching their masks you can say ‘wiggle wiggle’ and everybody will take their hands off their masks and wiggle their fingers. It makes it less exhausting for the adult,” she said.
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