Parents and communities across the nation are trying to figure out the best way to send kids back to schools in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Some schools will require kids and staff alike to wear face coverings. Here in South Dakota, there is no such requirement. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem's people sent out a recent campaign letter saying, “Governor Kristi Noem will not issue a state-wide mandate for distance learning, and is encouraging all families to send their children back to school - without masks.”

The Mayo Clinic suggests, “Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus when they are widely used by people in public settings.”

If you are a parent having trouble getting your child to wear a face mask this father has a tip for you.

Leland Michael posted this on his Facebook page: “For parents worried their kids won’t be able to wear masks for long periods of time this Fall, try this rule for your last few weeks of summer: You’re only allowed screen time if you’re wearing a mask. Either they will acclimate quickly, or you’ll get them off devices for the last weeks of their summer. I’ve got my money on them acclimating and your kid’s teacher having a much easier first week of school.”

These other helpful ideas to get your child comfortable with face mask-wearing come from healthychildren.org:

  • Look in the mirror with the face coverings on and talk about it.
  • Put a cloth face covering on a favorite stuffed animal.
  • Decorate them so they're more personalized and fun.
  • Show your child pictures of other children wearing them.
  • Draw one on their favorite book character.
  • Practice wearing the face-covering at home to help your child get used to it.
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