Importance of Personal Hygiene in Kids.

I remember my mother making strict rules in the house such as –

  • Change into clean clothes after coming from school.
  • Fold uniform and always use clean socks.
  • Brush and floss twice a day. 
  • Cut and file nails every Sunday and so on.

Did you go through the same flashback as me?

I bet you must have. 

During those days, these rules used to feel like impositions. Laziness used to creep in slowly followed by puppy eyes and a little coaxing but my mother never budged.

And I think that was all for good!

Personal hygiene is one of the important things to teach your kids, right from the beginning. With the changing climate, unusual seasons, and pollution, etc. viral infections such as cold, cough and flu are on the rise. Unclean hands and clothes are the mediums through which germs travel to spread various types of diseases. Furthermore, the lifestyle has changed. Routines have become jam-packed not only for the working population but also for kids. We generally tend to underestimate the lifestyle of children by tagging it as a routine or the way of life. But kids go through a lot of stress-related to exams, scorecards, peer pressure, competitions and loads of homework, of course. 

Gauging situations like these, it is important that your kid stays fit as a fiddle, both physically as well as psychologically. Along with good nutrition and exercise, it is essential to teach your kids the value of personal hygiene health and sanitation.

Let’s go through some habits of personal hygiene to teach your kids, right away:

1. Wash, wash, and wash your hands! 

Clichéd advice but the most important. Encourage your kids to wash their hands before eating any meal. Kids should follow this habit not only at home but also at school or any public place. Most of all, Health and hygiene go hand in hand.

2. Brush and floss twice day (keeps that bad breath at the bay!)

Dirty teeth and bad breath are always the reasons for an outcast. Good dental hygiene is not only important for the teeth and gums to stay healthy but also plays an important role in building the confidence of your child.

3. Cover your mouth while sneezing and coughing.

This is one of the important points to consider personal hygiene for kids. Viral infections generally spread through the air, hence covering the mouth as well as nose can help prevent the infections from spreading.

4. Sharing is caring, except toothbrush, towel, soap, and comb!

These objects are a good source of bacteria and germs and there is a high possibility of transmission of any diseases or infections by using someone else’s toothbrush, towel, soap, or comb. 

5. During menstruation,

  • First and foremost, explain the child about menstruation beforehand so that the girl is ready to experience such changes in her body. 
  • It is important to change the sanitary napkin after every 5-6 hours to avoid any odour or itchiness.
  • Dispose of the sanitary napkins properly.
  • Wash and clean yourself properly.

6. Clean clothes and no smelly feet! 

Inculcate this habit in your kids to change their clothes once they come from outside. Germs get stuck in the fibres of the clothes transmitting diseases throughout the house. Also, to keep good feet hygiene, they must use clean socks every day to school.

7. Sleep on time and in their bed – no sleeping on the couch!

Falling asleep on the couch seems like the best thing but isn’t healthy. Make sure that your child’s sleep is sound and non-interrupted for around 7 to 8 hours. Encourage the kid to sleep in his or her own bed.

8. Maintain Clean Sheets.

Make it a routine with your kids to fold their sheets every morning after they wake up. This will make them responsible for their own cleanliness. Also, it is important to change the bed covers every week to maintain good sleep hygiene of your child. Sheet and clothes catch a lot of germs and dust in the fibres leading to the spread of diseases.

9. Clean and neatly filed nails! 

Good nail hygiene is important for good health. Nails are the storehouse of dirt and germs, hence cutting nails and also filing them properly is equally important. Moreover, clean nails always leave a good impression and this habit will certainly help your child in the future.

10. Bath Hygiene.

Kids tend to look at bathing as a routine. Instead of that make sure that kids understand why is important to take a proper bath than just finishing it as a morning activity. It is important that they clean their body properly, wash off all the soap and also dry the body completely before putting on clothes.

‘Hygiene is two-thirds of health’

True that.

Personal hygiene not only contributes to keeping you healthy but also plays an important role in maintaining self-esteem. It eventually helps in building the confidence of your child to portray themselves in public.

But, there is one thing that challenges personal hygiene – Laziness. This monster of an emotion creeps in when it comes to brushing teeth at night or when the cartoon is too good to get up and sleep early. Your kid will try to procrastinate some habits, it is natural. Hence, try to encourage these habits in your child organically.

How to teach personal hygiene to kids (3 simple tips):

  • Explain to them the importance of personal hygiene and how health and cleanliness are intertwined. Do not scare them with facts about germs, bacteria, and diseases, otherwise, there is a possibility of hygiene becoming an obsession in kids. 
  • Follow all these habits along with them. Children are great imitators. If they see you sleeping on the couch, they will follow the same. 
  • Appreciate them when they follow a certain habit. For instance, if the kid goes and washes hands before eating on their own, praise the child at the dinner table. Acknowledgements and appreciations will help the kids to follow the habits consistently. 

If kids respect the value of personal hygiene and inculcate these habits in their life daily, they will certainly understand the importance of public sanitation as well. If they learn to keep themselves clean, they’ll keep the house clean and eventually they’ll keep the surroundings clean. 

After all,

‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’

Also Read: Health and Cleanliness – What is Our Responsibility?

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