BOSTON (WHDH) - Getting students to keep their masks on amid the coronavirus pandemic can pose a challenge, so 7NEWS spoke with a local medical expert about how to keep them protected and comfortable as they enter the classroom.

Dr. Richard Malley of Boston Children’s Hospital offered helpful advice for families to use when trying to get their children to wear a mask.

He first recommends that parents and guardians let their children know that their mask protects their family and friends.

“You’re empowering them to take control over what could be a scary situation and make them feel like they are doing their part to keep everybody safe,” Malley said.

He also suggested that families be playful when it comes to children’s masks.

“They can pick the masks based on cartoon characters or other images that are very personal, to which they have a lot of affection,” Malley continued.

He added that parents can turn masks into a game or something fun, for instance picking a mask design that everyone likes. That way when the whole family steps outside, the matching masks identifies them as a unit.

Once children are wearing their masks, Malley says it’s important to remind them to leave it alone.

“It’s very important to teach children not to share masks with one another,” he said. “Your mask is your own, it’s private, something that you and only you should be wearing.”

Malley suggested that parents and guardians not to get mad when their children break the rules but to instead stay positive.

“We are so proud of you. You’re doing your job to protect your classmates, to protect your teacher and using that form of positive dialogue is much better than some form of discipline if they do not wear their mask properly,” he explained.

Malley also encouraged families to set a good example by wearing a mask around children to show them it’s apart of life right now.

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