As churches are planning to relaunch in the coming weeks, everyone is asking how to keep members safe and healthy. One option recommended by both the CDC and Governor Abbot’s report is for staff, volunteers and members to wear cloth or non-medical grade face masks or coverings while at church. Face masks protect both the individual and those around them, and while not mandated, are a great idea for keeping your church safe.
In preschool and children’s areas, however, masks can present a challenge. Preschoolers and young children may be fearful when they see their teachers wearing a mask or face covering. They may also find wearing a mask uncomfortable and resist having to keep one on for the entire time they are at church. It is also important to remember that a face mask should never be placed on a child younger than two years old because it can be a suffocation hazard.
Parents and teachers can help prepare preschoolers for face masks by practicing and making masks something fun and personal. The following are some ideas for easing the transition to wearing face masks:
No matter how you choose to use masks or face coverings in your preschool and children’s areas, remember that some preschoolers and children may be fearful or need help adjusting. Be ready to calm those fears by reminding preschoolers and children that masks are not something to be afraid of—they are a way that we can help others stay healthy and safe.
Sarah Johnson is the ministry program coordinator for childhood discipleship for Texas Baptists. She has also served for many years in preschool and children’s ministry and currently teaches kindergarten Bible study at FBC Lewisville.
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