Healthy Habits: Encouraging Your Kids to Practice Good Hygiene
Fostering lifelong positive healthy habits not only keeps us clean but also helps our immune system fight deadly viruses and bacteria. Encouraging your children to develop good hygiene practices at an early age is crucial since they are more susceptible to infections and diseases.
Let us learn more about personal hygiene for children.
What Is Personal Hygiene?
Personal hygiene includes different everyday activities, including brushing your teeth, bathing, washing your hands, and changing your clothes. It essentially means taking care of your body. Good personal hygiene not only helps prevent you from getting sick, but it also helps you look good.
Children always come in contact with dirt and dust everywhere, including parks, schools, and malls. These elements carry with them microorganisms that may cause infections. As most kids tend to put their toys and hands in their mouths, they could transfer these microorganisms into their bodies.
Types of Personal Hygiene You Should Teach Your Kids
Improper food hygiene is extremely dangerous as it not only causes diarrhea, vomiting, and tummy pains but could also lead to death if left untreated. When preparing, serving, and eating food, both parents and children should observe proper food hygiene.
Parents may start educating their kids about the value of food hygiene at a young age by starting with the basics. Parents can talk about germs and how these pesky little microbes can spread from their hands to the food and into their nose and mouth.
The top personal hygiene habit we should teach our kids is properly washing their hands. Handwashing goes a long way. Based on the data by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, handwashing with soap helps reduce respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases by up to 50 percent.
While your children are still young, give them a practical lesson on how to wash their hands. They simply have to follow these steps:
- Wet hands with clean water.
- Apply soap and rub hands together to form a lather for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean under the nails, in between fingers, and up to the wrist.
- Rinse off the soap completely with clean water.
- Dry hands using a clean towel or a paper towel.
Apart from teaching your kids how to wash their hands, encourage them to follow the abovementioned steps after these instances:
- Before and after touching or eating food.
- After using the toilet.
- After playing outside.
- After sneezing and/or coughing.
- After petting an animal.
Hands are not the only part of our body that requires proper hygiene habits. Kids also need to know how to take care of their bodies by observing good body hygiene. These include keeping every part of one’s body clean, healthy, and presentable.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it protects all the soft tissues and internal organs from being exposed to various microorganisms. Thus, keeping our skin clean from any germs is important.
Although showering seems second nature to us adults, young children need to be taught the importance of taking a shower. Taking a shower or a bath once a day helps eliminate bacteria that cause body odor.
Good body hygiene also extends to your kids’ hair. Poor hair hygiene could lead to dandruff, lice, and other scalp infections. Washing your hair at least twice a week helps prevent dirt and grease buildup that causes dandruff and itching.
During hot summer months, it is even better to wash your children’s hair daily as they are prone to sweating. Teach them how to clean their scalp with shampoo, brush their hair, and avoid sharing personal grooming.
As kids grow older and more independent, teach them the value of wearing clean clothes. Encourage them to change their clothes after playing outside. Teach them to put dirty clothes in the laundry basket and never to mix dirty and clean clothes as well.
Good oral hygiene is just as critical as hand hygiene. Having proper oral hygiene helps fight cavity-causing bacteria and gum diseases. When children grow out of their baby teeth, all the more should parents make sure their children take proper care of their teeth.
We only have one set of adult teeth, so practicing good oral hygiene is important to keep our teeth last for a lifetime. In addition to brushing and flossing, parents should schedule a regular appointment with a pediatric dentist since our teeth also need professional cleaning and checkup.
Teaching Your Kids About Personal Hygiene
For us adults, it may seem like a no-brainer how important practicing good personal hygiene is. However, little children have yet to understand these concepts. Thus, instead of telling them what to do, it would be best to set yourself as an example for them to follow.
With constant practice and patience, your kids will develop good personal hygiene throughout their life.