Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended New York on Pause until May 15 and tightened the rules on face masks. Beginning Friday, April 17, all New Yorkers are required to wear a cloth covering or mask when they're out in public and traveling to places where social distancing cannot be practiced. Additionally the Centers for Disease Controls and Preventions also recommends wearing face protection in public, "especially in areas of significant community-based transmission."
Starting tomorrow, all New Yorkers MUST wear a cloth face covering or a mask when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. pic.twitter.com/rncWmNjyZ0— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 16, 2020
This is certainly a significant change for most people, and it can be especially hard for children who are reluctant or even afraid to wear a mask. Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network, notes that it is a critical time to empower children who are skeptical of the new rule.
"Let them know they are being super heroes and helping save the lives of their loved ones and strangers by wearing this mask," she said.
Additionally, as long as the nose and mouth are covered securely—and there aren't any gaps between a child's face and the mask, according to the World Health Organization—face masks don't have to be boring for kiddos. Think of this as an opportunity to get crafty.
"You can make it fun for them," Dr. Parikh added. "Since homemade masks are sufficient, involve them in the mask-making process and let them customize and choose their own colors, style, etc so they take pride in their mask."
For those with questions about DIY face masks, check out information provided by the CDC as well as its video tutorial about making your own face covering. You can also check out the guidelines from WHO.
But if your tot is still not accepting this new rule, it's best to keep him or her at home, as children can often be asymptomatic carriers, Dr. Parikh noted.
Stay safe, NYC.
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