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Dad shares clever trick for getting kids used to wearing masks before school

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all children over the age of 2 wear a face covering while in public.
/ Source: TODAY

A math teacher in Iowa is sharing a clever trick to help young kids embrace mask-wearing at school.

“Try this rule for your last few weeks of summer: You’re only allowed screen time if you’re wearing a mask,” Leland Schipper wrote in a now-viral Facebook post. “Either they will acclimate quickly, or you’ll get them off devices for the last weeks of their summer.”

When Schipper’s 5-year-old son Auden starts kindergarten this month, he will be required to keep his face covered.

“My wife and I had a conversation about how difficult it will be for teachers to enforce that rule but how it important it is," Schipper, 30, told TODAY Parents. “It dawned on me that we needed to start practicing."

Schipper’s hack, which he says is helping Auden, has been shared more than 122,000 times since he posted it on July 31.

“We have been doing this and ohhh man is my kid motivated to wear a mask!!” one person commented.

Added another, “We started this today after seeing your idea — result — much more comfort in mask wearing & absolutely no decrease in desire for screen time.”

The approach isn't fool-proof, however.

As one person noted, "Good for bribing at home, but outcome for many will be very different if you consider reality. Children in groups typically act up, horse play etc.. Takes 1 kid to take theirs off and the others follow."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children 2 years and older should wear “cloth face coverings” when they are “in the community setting” to stop the spread of the coronavirus.”

But children under 2 should not wear masks due to risks of suffocation, Dr. Jamie Macklin, a pediatric hospitalist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, previously told TODAY Parents.

“Babies and young toddlers have airways,” Macklin explained. “Breathing through a mask can be harder for them.”