Personal Hygiene & Squeaky Clean Kids For LIFE
July 5, 2017
Teaching Your Kids Good Personal Hygiene
It’s funny how toddlers who love splashing around in the water grow up to be messy preteens who would gladly stay dirty if given the choice.
Laying a solid foundation of good personal hygiene habits while they’re still young will help to maintain good health later in life AND, someday, they will thank you. So soldier on.
Explain the Basics
The best way to introduce personal hygiene to kids is to explain that it keeps them from getting sick.
They might not grasp all the scary details but they’ll understand why it’s important to avoid colds and runny noses. This approach also teaches that personal hygiene isn’t just about appearance.
Hand washing is the most important hygiene practice that you can teach your kids, so start early.
Teach them to wash their hands before handling food, before meals, after using the bathroom, after blowing their noses and after playing with pets.
Keep in mind that there is a right and wrong way to wash your hands! The CDC recommended way is:
- Wet the hands completely with warm water
- Use enough soap to create a good lather
- Scrub hands for about 20 seconds washing both the palms and the back of the hands
- Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel.
Some kids don’t like baths. They might be afraid of water, have sensitive skin or just hate having their play time interrupted by bath time. So making bath time as much fun as possible with kid’s soaps and tub toys can be a BIG help.
When teaching them how to bathe, be sure to show them how to wash their face, hair, hands, finger nails, armpits, genitals, bottom, feet and between the toes.
Make bath time a routine so that your kids know when it’s bath time. Some of the best times for baths are before dinner, bedtime or school.
Listen to this: Twenty percent of kids below the age of 3 are affected by tooth decay.
This is why kids need to learn dental hygiene before that age.
You can start teaching them as soon as they have four teeth in a row!
Get your child a soft kid’s tooth brush. You can soak it in hot water before brushing to make it even softer.
Below the age of three, they should use a very small amount of toothpaste – the size of a grain of rice. After their third birthday, they can graduate to a pea-sized amount.
Teach your kids to brush their teeth in the morning, before bed and after eating sugary treats.
*** Keep in mind that kids will probably not brush their back molars unless you insist.
Games can make teaching personal hygiene so much easier.
For instance, you can use chalk powder or washable paint to teach your kids about germ transfer. Cover your hands with chalk or paint and then shake hands with the child. Then ask the child to shake hands with other people or touch things around the room.
You can also use glitter to teach hand washing. Sprinkle glitter on your hands and your child’s hands and then challenge him or her to wash it off with soap and water. It should take about 30 seconds of scrubbing to get the glitter off.
Teaching your kids good personal hygiene when they’re very young fosters good health later on in life AND makes it less likely that you’ll need a hazmat suit, or tetanus shot, when going into their room during the teen years!