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On Child Masking: Eugene Doc Says Kids Will Rise To Occasion With Support

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Serena Black MD
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Oregon’s mandate for masking children five and older goes into effect Friday. A Eugene pediatrician offers some tips on how to talk to kids about wearing facial coverings.

Dr. Serena Black contends by the time a child is five, they’ve already heard about germs and why we don’t want to spread them. When it comes to wearing a mask, she suggests it’s good to get them comfortable by starting at home.

“Getting kids to get involved with masks as play-- for those younger kids, so using a mask and putting it on and off a favorite stuffy or toy or coloring masks over characters like in coloring books,” Black said. “Kind of normalizing that masks are what everybody’s doing right now.”

Black said children usually rise to the occasion to be helpers. And they should be reinforced with positive language and little rewards like a sticker for wearing a mask correctly.

From a safety standpoint, pediatricians do not recommend masking children under two because it can cause breathing problems and they are hard to keep in place.

Dr. Serena Black is a pediatrician with PeaceHealth Medical Group. To find more information on kids and masks: https://www.peacehealth.org/healthy-you/children-and-face-coverings-what-you-need-know

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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