Children playing with cloths

4 Important Personal Hygiene Habits To Teach Your Children From Young

Personal hygiene is something that can be taught to children when they are very young. While some may argue it is not worth it to teach a child who may not clearly understand you to wash their hands, once they hear it over and over again, it will begin to sink in. Eventually it will become second nature to them.

The 4 most important personal hygiene habits to teach your children at an early age include washing their hands, covering their nose and mouth, bathing daily, and having good dental health by brushing with electric toothbrushes and flossing on a daily basis.

  1. Hand washing is one of the most important things you can teach your child. This is the biggest way to safeguard your child from sickness. Teach your children to wash their hands before and after eating, after using the restroom, after coughing/sneezing, after playing with pets, after coming home from school or daycare, and after playing outside. To wash hands, a child should first wet their hands with warm water, then lather up with soap. The hands should be scrubbed while singing “Happy Birthday” twice, then rinsed well with warm water before drying off with a towel.
  1. Covering noses and mouths when sneezing or coughing will prevent many germs from being spread. It is best to teach children to cough and sneeze into their upper arm or shoulder to prevent more germs from being spread. However, if your child can not master this, you will need to make sure that they wash their hands as described in number one after they have covered their coughs and sneezes.
  1. Taking a bath is essential for good health. Once children are old enough, they may wish to shower. If bath time is not something that your child looks forward to, consider a fun bubble bath or a neat bath toy. Make sure you teach your child that it is essential to wash all parts of the body with soap to stay clean and healthy. Hair should be washed three per week to keep it free from dirt and oils. Hair should be brushed daily to avoid any tangles. While teaching hair care, let it be known to your child that they should avoid sharing combs and brushes with others to prevent the spread of lice.
  1. Good dental health is essential for any child. Many argue that it does not really matter if they brush or floss their teeth as they will eventually get their permanent teeth sooner or later. But teaching them now will ensure that they have good dental health for life. Many children prefer to be independent when they are young, so after they have brushed their teeth, you can quickly go over the teeth again to make sure that they are not missing spots. If they do not like brushing their teeth, you can add some excitement to their routine by purchasing an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can make brushing the teeth more exciting which could lead to less of a battle on your part. As an added benefit, electric toothbrushes can help clean the teeth better, which will lead to fewer cavities and less plaque and tartar accumulation.

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  1. Consistency is the best policy.

    Children are too busy to worry about their hands being cleaned, they have no care or worry in the world, I will whine at my son in-order to get him to just wash his hands. Gradually the whining stopped and now I hardly ever ask him to wash his hands. I guess kids also can’t stand whining just like us parents who are tortured by their whining. LOL ?

    Kids also follow whatever parents do, you don’t want your little one questioning you when you request them to do a simple task that you don’t even practice.
    Practice what you preach and you shall be successful.

  2. I have a slight case of ODC when it comes to clean.

    My son detest having dirty hands, yet dirty feet doesn’t bother him.

    We are still working on proper sneezing and couching etiquette. I am currently battling with the blow your nose hassle. I just cannot handle a sniff or a snort. Use a tissue. Do it discreetly.

    However bath time and teeth brushing time in our house is a lot of fun. Thanks to bubble bath, colored bath powders, bath pops and a very expensive Mickey mouse electric toothbrush. I now view this tooth brush as an investment. it really made the world of difference to our routine. Now the only battle is which color tooth paste. Yes, I am expected to have more than one color available. If not- tears and drama.

    My little guy likes variety…

  3. Elize Swanepoel

    I see that we have three of the hygiene lessons ticked.

    JD loves to bath. It is a daily struggle to get him to climb out of the bath.
    The Daycare and ourselves have been teaching him to wash his hands regularly.
    The Daycare and ourselves have been teaching him to brush his teeth.

    I must work on the covering of the nose and mouth part. Poor JD is a lot like his Mom. He sneezes a lot – I think it’s due to allergies or irritations.

    Another thing that is a bit concerning is the nose picking. JD suddenly discovered that he can pick his own nose and I won’t tell you what he does with it afterwards. :-O

    I am working really hard on teaching him not to pick his nose and hopefully my effort will pay off soon.

    Generally, he is pretty good on hygiene. He also blows his nose when we ask him and he insists on wiping his own nose when he has a runny nose and he sees us approach with a tissue.

    Overall, I think we are on the good path.

    Great article, and thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you this is very important and a reminder for us all I will definitely use this and very helpfull too

  5. With my daughter she already does 3,except for brushing teeth. I am yet to find better way to make it fun for her so she can look forward to. She even cries when we have to. I tried waiting for her so we Wan brush together and even showed her videos of other children brushing but still won’t fall for it.

    • Have you tried adding brushing teeth as a task on her reward chart? It worked for us 🙂 However with my son I still need to hound him to brush his teeth even now when he is 8 years old LOL

  6. my kid knows to always wash hands and now she uses sanitiser too

  7. I am lucky in this as my son hates to have dirty hands and will wash them himself, he brushes his teeth no problem I have to watch him through out the day other wise he will brush them 5 times. He also hates it when his clothes get dirty. I am trying hard to get him to hold his hand in front of his mouth or nose if he coughs or sneezes

  8. Love this. I try my best every day to teach my son the importance of hygiene

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