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Montana doctor shares tips for masking up kids

Posted at 6:49 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 20:51:08-04

As masks become more common, some parents may find it difficult to keep them on the faces of their young children.

MTN News reached out to a Helena pediatrician for some tips on how to keep kids healthy and safe during this pandemic.

“To be honest, some 2 to 3 year old’s, (wearing a mask) it’s almost impossible,” Dr. Callie Riggin said.

Riggin is a pediatrician at Helena Pediatric Clinic. She knows when it comes to keeping a mask on a young child, or not touching your face, it can be very difficult, but she says the best thing parents can do is lead by example.

“Younger children, it is a lot of redirecting, 'oh not let’s not touch our face, let’s play with this'. I think also as parents, we need to set a good example. If we are touching our face constantly, how are our kids going to know not to do that?” she says.

She added, “Kids hear us, right, so if we are complaining about how we hate wearing masks, how masks make us.”

Riggin also says the mask does no good unless it fits.

“Even an adult-size mask, you can make fit by tightening the ear loops. I have seen a lot of people just kind of put a little knot on each ear loop and tighten it up,” she said.

She also had some tips for parents who plan on hitting the playgrounds this summer.

“Pick a park with a lot of open space to run, play, and interact as a family. Play games, throw balls. You’re going to be much safer in that situation than playing on playground equipment,” Riggin said.

Riggin also said if you can include your child in picking out their masks, they will be more excited to wear a mask with a superheroes or Frozen characters, as opposed to a general hospital mask.