Parents and caregivers say that children are, generally, pretty resilient and unfazed by masks.
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Surprisingly, Kids Are Totally *Fine* With Seeing Their Caregivers In Masks

by Cat Bowen

Wearing masks when you're out and about is the new normal, but that doesn't mean that everyone will adapt right away — especially kids. With states reopening, and day cares and camps in session, how are kids reacting to caregivers in masks?

Everyone relies on reading people's faces to determine their mood and react accordingly, but with masks on, that's fairly impossible. For kids who are more reliant on seeing smiling, welcoming faces than even adults, masks can be a scary thing. More than once I have found myself looking at a baby or small child, wishing that I could lower my mask so that they might see my smiling face, but I know that is unsafe, unwise, and unkind. Instead, I simply wave and nod my head, hoping that these kids are learning other, often more subtle cues to the feelings of those around them. And it turns out, for the most part, they are.

Kids are stunningly resilient little creatures who are better at adapting than we are. When I told my kids that we all had to wear masks so that we wouldn't get ourselves or others sick, they were immediately on-board, scrolling through Etsy for their styles. For the most part, the kids are alright, and that includes how they feel when they see a mask, too.

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They Act Like They Don't Even Notice

Danielle Liss has a 5-year-old son Nicolas that just recently returned to his program. She tells Romper that when seeing his caregivers in masks, Nicolas "didn't say a word." She also says he loves wearing his mask after she found a cute design with dinosaurs.


Clear Masks Help With Facial Expressions

A day care provider in Arizona tells Romper that, for the most part, "kids are fine," but that they've actually ordered masks with a clear plastic guard in the front that was originally designed for people who read lips as it helps communicate with kids by allowing them to see their faces.

Does the clear mask look like something from a nightmare of a drunken astronaut? Yes. Does it work? We'll see, but as someone who reads lips and has had a dickens of a time with this, I salute that drunken astronaut.


It Can Take Them A Minute To Identify People

Jess Knight just started taking her 3-year-old daughter Evie to childcare again after over 100 days without it. "She wasn't phased because she saw all of us wear masks, but it did take her a minute to identify everyone. It helps that they all wore ID badges with their faces on them. Also, Evie loves it when her teachers have funny masks or superhero masks, which they almost always do."


They May Be Confused At First, But Then They're Totally Fine

Samantha and her 6-year-old son live in New York City, and as a first responder, her child has never stopped going to childcare. She said that at first he was confused by the masks, but didn't make much of a fuss. Now, he just accepts them.


They Might Have Questions

Romper lifestyle editor Samantha Darby says that her 5-year-old Alice, in a Georgia suburb, hasn't been frightened by anyone in a mask, but did have a lot of questions the first time she saw others wearing them. She was concerned everyone was sick, or that everyone thought she was sick. Once she learned that it was a precautionary measure, she began loudly questioning anyone who wasn't wearing a mask. Which is both a little embarrassing and a little pride-inducing because like, dude, you really just got called out by a 5-year-old.