It is one thing to teach your child good behaviour and another thing to teach your child good hygiene. In a way, they do relate with one another. Take shaking hands for example. Isn’t it rude to shake a person’s hand with dirty hands? So, proper hygiene is just as important as manners and etiquette.
But where do you start?
You start to teach them where we all started, too – washing our hands. Keep reading to find how this all works!
What Is Personal Hygiene And Why Is It Important?
Simply put, personal hygiene is how you take care of yourself; your body, your smell, your cleanliness. And, normally, kids won’t be concerned about personal hygiene because they’re taken care of. Nonetheless, it’s important to teach them the basics of hygiene and how they can continue being hygienic independently.
Personal hygiene is important, especially in kids, because it helps protect the body from infectious diseases, germs, bacteria and viruses. Washing your hands, sanitising them when needed also keeps you from spreading any of these infectious diseases to other people.
How Can I Teach My Kid About Personal Hygiene?
Always start with basic hygiene.
Teach them to change their clothes, especially when they just came home from school, or from playing outdoors. Remind them to do this every day until they grow up so they know what they should do all the time.
Teach them how to wash their hands – and it’s not just the simple 10-second washing. Especially before meals and after meals, it’s important to make sure everyone has clean hands. This is to prepare everyone if they have to touch food with their fingers.
Step by step, here’s how you teach them to wash their hands;
- After wetting the hands, put soap and spread it throughout the entire hand.
- Scrub between the fingers first before moving on to scrubbing the palms and the back of the palms.
- Keep at it for 20 to 30 seconds and rinse.
- Prefer to air dry.
Other things you can teach your children about hygiene are;
- Washing fruits and vegetables before consumption
- Always take a bath or change their clothes when they go home after a long day outdoors
- Make sanitising the hands a habit
- Sanitise gadgets that have touched public surfaces such as tables at restaurants.
Practice basic morning routines.
It’s one thing to wake up in the morning and take a bath, but another to wait a while before taking that bath. Even then, it’s important to keep personal hygiene at a high.
As soon as they wake up, teach them to wash their faces and brush their teeth. It’s an important practice to make sure they do these things even as they grow up and live independently.
And, if they do take a bath in the morning, help them choose to wear clean clothes, never worn and fresh like the sunshine!
Proper baths are proper hygiene!
Of course, taking a bath every day is one of the best ways to practice proper hygiene. Not only does it kill off bad bacteria, get rid of germs and protect one’s self from viruses, it is also refreshing to keep the discomfort of stickiness away. Plus, it’s not a nice experience to stink around people.
Soap and shampoo are essentials in the bathroom to make sure the kids are fresh from head to toes. Without leaving the soap on their bodies for too long, teach them how to scrub exposed areas of their skin with a cloth or scrub. For parts like their underarms, face and neck, the best thing to do is scrub only using their hands since they are sensitive parts that are prone to hyperpigmentation. Scrubbing can lead to darkening of the skin, too.
Keep the nails short.
That tiny space between the fingernails can be home to germs and bacteria that can cause stomach problems, mouth sores or even serious diseases like an amoeba. If they are old enough, teach them how to cut their nails when they grow longer. And even when it’s long, teach them to wash their hands from time to time to make sure they don’t keep any dirt hiding underneath their fingernails.
If they are too young to handle a nail cutter, make sure you help them keep it short since kids below the age of 8 have nails that grow fast in a week.
Brush their teeth two to three times a day.
Make sure you remind them from time to time that brushing their teeth isn’t only for mornings, but it should follow before breakfast, after lunch and before bed.
Keeping the teeth healthy and clean until they grow up is a way to make sure they do not face certain complications with their oral and overall health. Keeping their teeth healthy is also a way for them to increase their confidence and self-esteem.
In A Nutshell…
Personal hygiene is one of the most important practices that you can pass down to your kids. It’s one of the primary defences of the body against germs and bacteria that can harm health. Keep their nails short, have them wash their hands and let them take a bath regularly and make sure you don’t forget to remind them about their oral health.
What’s your child’s favourite part of personal hygiene routines?