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Why does your family mask up? How have you helped your kids adjust to masking? We’d love to share your tips and images with other Oregon families.

Trending Questions on Masks & Kids

Do masks trap the carbon dioxide that we normally breathe out?

“No. There have been false reports that cloth face coverings can lead to carbon dioxide poisoning (known as hypercapnia) from re-breathing the air we normally breathe out. But this is not true. Carbon dioxide molecules are very tiny, even smaller than respiratory droplets. They cannot be trapped by breathable materials like cloth masks. In fact, surgeons wear tight fitting masks all day as part of their jobs, without any harm.”   –  American Academy of Pediatrics

Can wearing a mask make it harder for my child to breathe?

“There have been concerns that cloth face coverings can reduce oxygen intake, and can lead to low blood oxygen levels, known as hypoxemia. However, cloth masks are made from breathable materials that will not block the oxygen your child needs. The vast majority of children age 2 or older can safely wear a cloth face covering for extended periods of time, such as the school day or at child care. This includes children with many medical conditions.”–  American Academy of Pediatrics

What if masks are scaring my child?

“For children under 3, it’s best to answer their questions simply in language they understand. If they ask about why people are wearing cloth face coverings, explain that sometimes people wear them when they are sick, and sometimes people wear them so they don’t get sick.

For children over 3, try focusing on germs. Explain that germs are special to your own body. Some germs are good and some are bad. The bad ones can make you sick. Since we can’t always tell which are good or bad, the cloth face coverings help make sure you keep those germs away from your own body.

Children and teens often struggle when they feel different. They may feel that wearing a mask stereotypes them as being sick. As more people wear cloth face coverings, children will get used to them and not feel singled out or strange about wearing them. It will quickly become the “new normal” for children and teens.” – American Academy of Pediatrics

Will masks hinder my child's development?

Scientists who have studied the ways children process and use the information hidden by masks say that children will find ways to communicate, and that parents and teachers can help. Read more from pediatrician Perri Klass, MD.

Advice from Oregon Pediatricians

Kids & Masks: The Why & How – Rob McRae, MD, Joanna Odenthal, MD, and Ellen Stevenson, MD

From “No” to Masking Pro: Helping Your Hesitant Child Mask Up – Dr. Elizabeth Super, MD

Rumors I’ve heard about COVID-19 – Myth or Fact? – Megan Jacobs, MD, MSCS and Jessica Serrano, MD, MPH

Shareable Graphics & Resources

Mask Tip Sheet for Oregon Children ………………………………………………………………..

Set of 5 social media graphics with kid masking strategies from Oregon Pediatrician Elizabeth Super, MD.

Oregon Kids Who Mask

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“We first had Easton (age 2) try to wear a mask at a berry picking farm that had strict regulations that all participants needed to have masks on, ” his father said. “It was a total nightmare since he had never experienced wearing a mask before. After that, we took a slow, step-wise approach to mask wearing. It took a few weeks, but now wearing a mask in public spaces is second nature to him. His Mickey Mouse mask is his favorite.”

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Over the summer, Katherine (age 9) and Kincade (age 7) rocked their face coverings at an outdoor day camp. “I wear my mask at day camp because it slows down the spread of the virus,” Katherine said. “My mask lets me go places, like camp. It keeps me and others from catching COVID!”

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Eitu (age 7) and Emma (age 5) mask up when heading to the park with their little brother, Liór.

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“Jack (age 4) is going through a hardcore aviation phase, so we practically live at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum these days,” his mother said. “Jack has Sensory Processing Disorder, and wearing a mask was very difficult at first. To help him embrace it, we showed him pictures of jet pilots wearing their facial gear, and used his desire to be a pilot to role play until he was comfortable enough to wear it without the game. The volunteers at the museum are largely retired veterans, so he loves to show them his ‘uniform.'”
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Oregon Pediatric Society

9155 SW Barnes Rd, Suite 933
Portland, OR 97225

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