Parents’ guide to personal protective equipment for kids

Here’s how parents can help keep their kids safe during the pandemic, Vanessa Iarocci writes


  1. Talk to your kids: Have a conversation with your kids on how to stay safe during COVID-19. Stay calm and remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. Eliminate the fear factor and let them know that masks are there to help protect them.


  1. Explain the importance of PPE. Be honest with children and use simple terms that they understand as you begin to talk about wearing a mask when out in public. Explain the importance of wearing a mask in public such as prevention from getting coronavirus.


  1. Focus on what they can do to stay safe: Talk about safety precautions everyone can take to help themselves and others stay healthy. This includes practicing good hygiene, wearing a mask when out in public, exercising good coughing and sneezing etiquette and practicing social distancing.


  1. Show and tell: Demonstrate wearing a mask on a favorite toy or yourself so the child can see how the mask will fit. Give the child a chance to ask questions and provide them with responses that are easy to understand based on their age.


  1. Make it personal: Encourage your child to get involved when selecting their mask. Making this a family project will get them excited and make it more personal. You can also write your child’s name on their mask, so that they don’t lose it or mix it up with other children’s masks.


  1. Wear proper fitting masks: Ensure your child’s mask covers their mouth, nose, and chin. When removing the masks, use the straps behind the ears to do so and make sure that they are still a safe distance from other kids and adults.


  1. Test and ensure that your child’s PPEs are safe: Some materials and/or products can irritate your child’s skin. For masks, test the fabric on their face to ensure there is no risk of skin irritation. Also ensure that your child has access to safe sanitizers and wipes without high alcohol content.


  1. Keep your child’s masks in a safe place: Avoid losing your child’s masks by reminding them to keep them in a safe place when they are not being worn. And remind them not to share their masks with anyone including their friends.


  1. Keep hand sanitizers for hands only: Keep hand sanitizers away from their face. Watch to ensure your child does not rub their eyes when their hands are wet with sanitizer.


  1. Have hand sanitizers in handy places: Keep ready-to-go hand in your child’s backpack and lunch box. For example, GermBusterz is a refillable hand sanitizer that fits in a pencil case and refreshes kids’ hands without leaving a sticky residue.




  • Vanessa Iarocci is the president of McCarthy Uniforms