Health is a proactive way to prevent the spread of infections and bacteria.
Good personal hygiene habits will help your child remain healthy, ward off transmittable diseases, keep a healthy body image and develop a healthy character.
Children do not have the knowledge to comprehend exactly what hygiene is all about. For that reason, it is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children the importance of health and great health routines.
When it comes to teaching kids, it is better to start early, with simple practices in the house. Kids pick up things quick and learn fast. This will also help establish great practices that will remain with them throughout their lives.
Here are the 10 good hygiene habits you should teach your kids early.
1. Oral Hygiene
Great oral hygiene practices must be a part of every child’s daily regimen. In fact, parents need to take proper care of oral hygiene from the moment the kid grows their first tooth.
By cleaning a child’s teeth and gums, you can help prevent a large range of health issues, including halitosis, cavities and cardiovascular disease later on in their life.
As soon as your child is old enough, you have to supervise the way she or he is practicing oral health. You need to make your child brush their teeth for a minimum of 2 minutes twice each day. Likewise, motivate your kid to clean their teeth after each meal to prevent the growth of bacteria and prevent tooth decay.
Together with brushing, flossing and washing the mouth with a mouthwash is likewise essential.
Proper brushing and flossing is a learned skill that can only be improved with practice. It is the responsibility of parents to impart this essential hygiene practice in kids at an early age.
At the same time, you need to make sure your child is not eating sweet processed food too much, which has a harmful effect on the teeth.
If your kid is not taking proper care of their teeth, bring the topic up for discussion. If needed, take them to a dental professional. A dentist can help teach your kid about the effects of halitosis, symptoms of dental issues and how rotten teeth can endanger their look and career options in the future.
2. Nail Health
Nails take a great deal of care and pampering to stay healthy, so it’s important to teach your kid the best ways to take care of them at an early age.
Developing healthy nail-care practices is a must, as nails are a breeding place for harmful bacteria. These bacteria can quickly transfer to your child’s eyes, nose and mouth, making him or her ill.
For smaller kids, parents should make sure that the fingernails are clipped every week. Keeping the nails short is a great way to minimize the number of germs present under the nails. Plus, short nails stay cleaner and break less often.
When your child is comfortable enough to trim his/her own nails, teach them some fundamental rules, such as nails need to be trimmed after taking a bath or shower due to the fact that they are softer then, nails must be cut straight across to prevent ingrown nails, rough edges of nails must be smoothed down with a nail file or emery board, and teach them not to cut the cuticles as they protect the nail root.
You can even purchase a good nail brush and teach your kid to scrub the dirt out from under their nails prior to bedtime.
If your child establishes the habit of nail biting, prevent it right away. Nail biting can transfer hazardous bacteria to the mouth, which can then make their way to the gastrointestinal tract triggering numerous issues.
3. Bathing Ritual
Your baby might like or dislike to take a bath, but bathing is one personal hygiene habit that you must instill in your kid at an early age.
The skin is the body’s biggest organ and it plays a significant function in safeguarding the body from external elements, such as dirt, dust and countless bacteria. With regular bathing, you can keep the whole body clean.
Bathing or showering also helps eliminate dead skin cells, so as to make way for new skin cells. This is important for healthy and beautiful skin.
Parents must give younger children a bath, and never leave them alone in the bathroom. On days, when you cannot give them a bath, a sponge bath is another choice.
Once your child is big enough to shower or bath by themselves, supervise and teach them properly in the beginning.
Make your child shower two times a day, once in the morning and once again before bed. While taking a shower, teach them how to clean up the different parts of the body– the hands, underarms, legs, feet, groin, joints, back, belly button (navel), elbows and knees. Show them how to do it then let them practice it.
Also, teach them to pat dry their body after bathing and then apply a light moisturizer to keep it hydrated. Make them change their underclothing daily and wear clean clothes.
4. Hand Hygiene
When it comes to hand hygiene, hand washing is an essential part that parents must teach their children at a young age. Hand-washing is an easy activity that takes just a few seconds of time, but this habit can keep germs and infections away.
Cleaning the hands frequently can decrease diseases in kids, as it is frequently through the hands that hazardous microbes enter the body. Improper hand hygiene is one of the main factors behind diarrhea amongst children along with adults.
For younger children, clean their hands with a clean washcloth at frequent intervals.
As your baby begins growing, teach her or him ways to clean their hands completely, and not simply damp them under water.
Children need to be taught to clean their hands with soap and water. After using soap, teach your child to rub his or her hands together to lather up for about 20 to 30 seconds, then rinse the soap completely with clean water.
Hand-washing needs to be practiced before and after meals, after using the bathroom, after playing in the dirt or with family pets, after coughing or sneezing, and after touching with somebody who’s sick.
5. Foot Hygiene
Much like hand and skin health, it is essential to teach your kid about foot health. Proper foot hygiene will minimize the risk of stinky feet, ringworm and other foot infections.
Wash your baby’s feet a minimum of two times a day, and make sure to dry between the toes entirely. The water built up between the toes is one of the factors behind foot fungi. Do not make your child wear shoes throughout the day, specifically without socks.
When your child ages enough to take care of his or her feet on their own, teach them some fundamental pointers. These ideas include:
- Cleaning their feet at least two times a day. To clean the feet correctly, teach them to scrub with soap between the toes, the soles of the feet and under the toe nails.
- Teach them to use a clean cloth to clean their feet dry, specifically between the toes. Then, use some moisturizer to keep the feet hydrated.
- Encourage them to keep their shoes clean and dry.
Being a parent, always buy socks made of or lined with cotton, instead of synthetic fibers. When it comes to shoes, leather and canvas shoes are the very best as they allow the feet to breathe.
6. Toileting Hygiene
Once your kid becomes toilet-trained, you as a parent need to focus on the practices that your kid needs to know how to keep their little parts clean.
Teach your child to clean completely from front to back with toilet paper after using the bathroom. Teach them to continue wiping with fresh toilet tissue until it comes out clean. They must also be taught how to flush the toilet and use the bidet, if you have one.
If required, put a sign on the restroom wall under the toilet tissue roll to remind your child what he or she needs to do after using the bathroom.
Also, make children clean their hands each time they use the restroom. These healthy habits will help lessen irritation and keep infections at bay.
Have patience while teaching your kid about toileting hygiene, as a lot of children have problem mastering these routines.
7. Coughing and Sneezing Health
As soon as your kid is old enough, it is essential for parents to teach her or him about coughing and sneezing rules. These simple rules are particularly crucial for infection-control procedures.
A scarf should be your kid’s friend. Teach them to cover their mouth and face, using either a handkerchief or a tissue, while coughing or sneezing. This can help prevent spreading out germs to others.
It is practical to show what to do when you sneeze yourself. You might need to show the strategies a few times till your kid masters them.
At the same time, teach your child that when there’s no tissue useful, he or she need to sneeze or cough into the inside of his/her elbow.
Also, teach your child how to clean a runny nose and blow their nose carefully into a tissue when it’s blocked, which can make breathing much easier. Make your child throw the tissue in the garbage after use and wash his or her hands after sneezing or coughing.
Plus, teach your kid to keep their fingers from their nose. For babies and very young children, nose diving is just exploration and must be dissuaded as soon as possible.
8. Home Hygiene
In addition to personal hygiene, it is necessary to teach children about maintaining home hygiene when they are at home.
Keeping one’s house and surrounding clean is a healthy routine that all needs to follow, including children. This is a crucial step towards a clean and healthy society.
- Teach children to keep their belongings, such as toys and books, in their specific places.
- Teach kids not to toss things in the house as well as public places. Waste products should be thrown in the garbage only.
- Teach them to eat their food in a clean manner and how not to spill food off their plate.
- Make them put their used bowl or plate in the sink after eating, and wash their hands.
- Teach them to put dirty clothes in the laundry bag and always wear clean clothing.
- Discourage children from eating off the floor. This is specifically important if there are family pets in your home.
- Make your kid understand that a bed is just for sleeping. Kids have the tendency to do more than just sleep on the bed, which you must prevent right from the beginning.
9. Vocal Hygiene
It is important for parents to teach their kids about vocal hygiene to help children develop a strong, modulated voice.
Children are in a learning phase and they do not naturally understand how to talk pleasantly with elders and others. In fact, most children have the tendency to talk a lot, shout, shriek and change their voice to imitate somebody or sound funny, which needs to be discouraged by parents.
- To help the vocal chords develop properly, keep your kids hydrated. Make your child drink water at regular intervals.
- Do not instill a habit of drinking cold beverages at a tender age.
- Avoid giving small children food or drinks that are too cold, as it can affect the vocal chords.
- Make your kid learn to use a constant tone while having a conversation.
- If your kid develops a practice of clearing his throat often, prevent him from doing so.
10. Hair Care
Take good care of your child’s hair to help them take enjoy healthy and strong hair now and in the future. Poor hair care in kids can trigger problems like cradle cap, head lice, dandruff and other scalp infections.
For young children, it is important to wash their hair two or three times weekly to keep it free from dirt and grease. Prevent washing their hair too often as it can dry young scalps, making them more prone to dandruff.
When washing your baby’s hair, use proper hair shampoo designed for babies. Also, take safety measures to prevent the hair shampoo from coming in contact with the eyes. In addition to shampooing, comb your baby’s hair 2 or 3 times a day to keep it tangle-free. Use a wide-toothed comb or a soft-bristle brush.
For older kids, make them comb their hair two times daily by themselves. Motivate them to keep their hair properly tied or braided.
At the same time, teach your child never to share personal things like combs, pillows and hats. Likewise, teach them to avoid head-to-head contact with other children who may be having a lice infestation.
Once your child enters puberty, their hair may become oily and it might be necessary to hair shampoo their hair every other day.