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Local doctors give advice on preparing kids for masks in school

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 23:42:06-04

As Appleton and Kimberly school districts approve plans to require students and staff to wear masks for in-person instruction, some parents have concerns.

"At least in the first few weeks, I see very little education actually happenning because the teachers are always going to be teaching the kids about the masks," AASD parent Karridi Kelly said. "How to keep them on, how to wear them correctly, to stop fidgeting with them, to stop chewing on them. I've had kids chew on masks so I know that's gonna be a thing."

Medical professionals continue to preach that a soft introduction in to regular mask wearing will help students acclimate to the school's requirements this fall.

"If they see Mommy and Daddy wearing masks, I think it helps to normalize it," Dr. Christen McAlpine-Tesfai of Children's Wisconsin said. "If they can try and practice during the summer period, that will help them be a little more prepared for when school resumes in fall in person."

ThedaCare's Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Mark Cockley agrees, especially in regards to elementary students.

"The other way is to use that in other activities in life," Dr. Cockley said. "Do they have stuffed animals or dolls? Can they be like 'oh, we gotta put our mask on.' Part of their regular play is big and important to introduce it."