It’s no secret kids are not the cleanest creatures.
As we grow up, most of us tend to become more aware and concerned with hygiene. With kids, hygiene and cleanliness can be a challenge. Both must be taught.
Teaching kids basic hygiene practices help to reduce the risk of infection and illness for your child and your whole family.
Here are a few hygiene habits to teach kids early on.
Brush Teeth Twice Daily
Brushing teeth daily helps keep the teeth and mouth plaque and bacteria-free. Twice daily brushing is an oral health practice recommended as soon as kids have their first tooth. At first, you’ll need to gently brush your child’s teeth, but as they get older it’s a task for them to take on. Remind your child in the morning and before bedtime to brush their teeth. A fun toothbrush and toothpaste they like can help.
Kids do not need to bathe daily, but they do need to bathe regularly. How often your child should take a shower or bath depends on their age, activity level, messiness, and more. Generally, kids should bathe after sports practices or playing outside. Come up with a schedule that suits your child, and create a checklist for bathing to remind kids to wash thoroughly.
Handwashing is a great way to prevent illnesses and germs from spreading. Kids should wash their hands:
- Before touching food.
- After using the bathroom.
- After playing outside.
- Before holding baby brother, sister, cousin, etc.
- After sneezing, coughing, or blowing their nose.
Teach your kids the steps of thorough handwashing. Kids should use soap and water, lather for at least 20 seconds, scrub all areas of their hands, and rinse.
Wear Clean Clothes
Wearing clean clothes may seem obvious, but it’s not always to kids. If a child wears a sweatshirt inside for a couple of hours, it may be okay for them to wear it again. However, clothes that are worn outside the house, as well as undergarments, should be changed daily. To help your kids wear clean clothes, create a routine for putting away clean clothes in their right places and placing dirty clothes into a dirty hamper.
It can feel like an uphill battle trying to teach kids hygiene. Start with the key hygiene habits above at the youngest age possible. Explain why each action matters and how hygiene helps the whole family.