10TV: Social Impact of Masking on Children
This has been a difficult time for everyone. The global pandemic has changed the way we all live our daily lives. For children, there are so many changes and adjustments, including masking. While many families have adjusted, for younger children trying to determine how adults are acting and interacting with them can be a real challenge behind a mask.
There are some studies showing kids might be more perceptive in a “masked society” than many parents previously thought.
“They did study on kids ages seven to 13 and they actually found that most of the time the kids in that age group were still able to read what the appropriate response was, even with a facemask on,” said OhioHealth Family Medicine Physician Ben Bring, DO, in an interview with 10TV reporter Krista Frost.
Dr. Bring says that he is getting plenty of questions from parents on how the masking will impact children over the long haul.
“For example, if a child is about to touch a hot stove and you make a big face and say no don’t do that, the child will recognize that in addition to language to know not to touch the hot stove,” Dr. Bring said.
Dr. Bring points to a few things that parents of younger children can take to keep that communication going with those closest to the children. He tells 10TV the best way for parents to make sure their children are getting the social referencing they need to develop is to make sure kids can see parents and others within their “bubble” at home and in safe environments.
“One of the things we like to do with our kids is we’ll set up video play-dates where my son will call up one of his friends on FaceTime and just build Lego's and talk. So there’s still other ways of doing things socially distanced and still getting that interpersonal interaction that the kids need,” Dr. Bring said.
Dr. Bring said there can be fear over having the wear masks, especially for children, but having open and honest communication, and keeping things consistent can really make a difference.
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