Personal Hygiene for Kids: Essential Habits

More people have become more conscious of their hygiene. For instance, before the pandemic, many people didn’t wash their hands the right way. In a 2018 study, researchers observed older adults and found that 90 percent failed to wash their hands properly. But because of the pandemic, more people are routinely washing their hands the right way.

Some people may not be too careful about their personal hygiene since they weren’t trained when they were young. So it would be helpful for parents to teach their kids proper hygiene early on. This is especially true for mothers. In a 2011 report, a research organization found that both boys and girls will always run to their mothers first to consult about personal hygiene.

Mothers play a crucial role in helping their kids develop good hygiene. Teaching kids proper hygiene at an early age will improve their retention and practice it out of habit. Some things mothers should prioritize are as follows:

Handwashing

Kids are inquisitive beings and tend to touch different surfaces and unknowingly rub their hands on their eyes, nose, ears, and mouth without washing their hands first. This increases their risk of diarrhea and respiratory infections.

To lower that risk, mothers must teach their children the proper way to wash their hands. Handwashing should not just be about soaking hands in water. It must include scrubbing the palms, the spaces between fingers, the back of the hands, thumbs, and wrists.

Food Hygiene

Food hygiene is another key component of good personal hygiene that children should learn. Mothers should teach their kids to wash their hands before a meal. This will prevent germs and bacteria in children’s hands from transferring to their food and in their mouths.

Mothers must also remind their children to avoid coughing and sneezing into their food. If kids cough or sneeze, they need to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue, dispose of it immediately, and rewash their hands. If there’s no tissue, kids should cough or sneeze into their elbows instead.

child eating food

Oral Hygiene

Around 530 million children suffer from tooth decay on their milk teeth. Poor dental health means that children may lose their original teeth earlier than normal. They might also develop bad breath and cavities that may affect their overall well-being.

As such, mothers need to teach their kids proper oral hygiene as early as they can. Mothers should remind their children to brush their teeth at least twice a day. To encourage this, they can do it together. This way, children can mimic and remember what to do when brushing their teeth.

Body Hygiene

Aside from handwashing, food hygiene, and oral hygiene, mothers must also teach their children good body hygiene practices. These will concern their skin, hair, feet, and the rest of their body.

Mothers should teach their children to take a bath at least once a day. And if they undergo a physically rigorous activity, such as a full-body exercise, kids should also be reminded to take another bath to clean off the sweat from their bodies.

Taking a bath regularly will remove unwanted debris from a child’s body, such as dead skin cells and oil. If kids regularly clean themselves through baths and the occasional exfoliation, they’ll have healthy skin and be less prone to skin irritation and inflammation.

Other Important Lessons

Along with personal hygiene, mothers should also teach their children to speak out when they feel ill or discomfort. This will encourage kids to be mindful of their health.

Letting kids speak up will also show them that it’s okay to seek professional help. Many people skip medical appointments for fear of COVID-19. But there’s no need to be afraid as the healthcare system provides other ways to assist individuals with non-COVID cases. For instance, mothers can consult a pediatrician through teleconsultation. If a child needs extra care and closer monitoring, their mother can seek in-home care services to help them get the help they need.

Mothers might also encourage their children to keep a health journal once they can. Keeping a health log will encourage children to grow up as informed patients, so they’ll be able to take better control of their healthcare as teens and adults.

Being a mother comes with several responsibilities. And one of them is teaching kids proper hygiene. By encouraging kids to maintain good personal hygiene, mothers will be assured that they are helping their kids stay healthy and develop good hygiene habits they will bring with them as they grow up.

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