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    What makes a superhero? Could it be standing up for what is right? Protecting others? Just like the superheroes on our television and device screens, women and men on the frontlines of health care are working hard every day to fight for those who are sick, and protect those who are healthy.

    Superheroes can also be a beloved toy, a favorite cartoon character, even mom or dad.

    Superheroes wear masks – and so can you

    Getting kids to wear a mask can be challenging, but it's important to find a way for them to feel good about wearing a mask. In fact, since superheroes wear masks, this is a chance for children to play the part of a superhero when going to the doctor, or going out for a walk or bike ride, etc. And, when you have to go to the store or run errands, let them see you putting on your mask and being a superhero too.

    According to Dr. Kara Starnes, Cook Children's urgent care medical director, recent reqirement to wearing masks can be a difficult adjustment for all of us, but especially for children.

    Seeing others wearing masks can be scary for some kids. Even wearing a mask can feel a little scary.

    Making masks fun and special

    Introducing the masks in a fun, creative way can help ease a child’s fears. Imaginative ideas can allow them to embrace their inner superhero and be excited to do their part in protecting others.

    The Child Life specialists at Cook Children’s offer the following tips for getting young kids to wear face masks:

    • Model it! Make it familiar by wearing a mask too.
    • While wearing masks, look in the mirror and talk about it with them.
    • If you're making masks for your family, let the kids pick their colors
    • Play! Put a mask on their favorite stuffed animal.
    • Decorate the mask by coloring it or using stickers.
    • Look at pictures of other kids wearing masks.
    • Draw masks onto pictures of their favorite characters: superheroes, cartoon characters, athletes, toys, etc.
    • Use positive reinforcement when they wear a mask. Use praise or small rewards.