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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.