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Teaching Your Child Good Hygiene

Teaching Your Child Good Hygiene

The body can be a breeding ground for all kinds of germs and diseases. This can lead to harmful conditions. This is why personal hygiene is so important. Here’s a list of good hygiene habits you should teach your kids.

The Importance of Teaching Hygiene

Teaching personal hygiene to preschoolers and older children is important to build personal hygiene habits that they will be able to bring with them as they grow older. Aside from the prevention of diseases, good personal hygiene habits can also help boost a child’s self-esteem especially when they start experiencing puberty.

Understanding the importance of teaching your child the following list of good hygiene habits starts by learning more about the risk associated with poor hygiene.

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Hygiene-Related Diseases

Before we go through the list of good hygiene habits, it’s important to know that a number of diseases are linked to poor hygiene practices. And some can have serious consequences on a person’s health. These consequences are magnified for younger children who are still strengthening their immune system. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention enumerates the following as hygiene-related diseases:

Head Lice

A head-lice infestation is caused by tiny insects that feed on blood on the scalp. Although this disease is not directly caused by poor hygiene, having a dirty scalp can increase the risk of getting infected with head-lice.

Diarrhea

When a person has diarrhea, they have a loose and watery bowel movement that happens more often than usual. A variety of bacteria and viruses cause diarrhea, usually from contaminated food and water.

Diarrhea in children is often caused by Rotavirus, which can be spread through hands contaminated by the infected stool.

Cavities and Tooth Decay

Dental caries, or more commonly known as tooth decay, cause the breakdown of enamel in the teeth, leading to cavities. Tooth decay is especially common in young children aged 6-11 years old. Tooth decay is caused by enamel-damaging bacteria found on teeth.

Ringworm

Contrary to its name, a ringworm infection is not actually caused by a worm. Ringworm is a fungal infection characterized by a red or silver-looking rash. Ringworm can be spread through infected objects, animals, and soil.

Scabies

This contagious skin condition is characterized by itchy rashes that become more severe at night. It is caused by a mite called the “Sarcoptes scabiei,” which lays eggs in a host human’s skin after burrowing into it.

The diseases mentioned above are just some of the infections that can occur if a person does not practice good hygiene. Children are more susceptible to these diseases because of behaviors like putting random objects into their mouths or playing in dirty areas.

list of good hygiene habits

List of Good Hygiene Habits

In order to teach children a list of good hygiene habits, it is helpful to categorize the types of hygiene that a person must observe. These categories can help you create a list of good hygiene habits for your child so that it will be easier for them to remember and practice fundamental hygiene habits.

Hand Hygiene

First category to help you build a list of good hygiene habits is handwashing. This type of hygiene is one of the most important types of hygiene because hands are one of the dirtiest parts of the human body. Instill the value of handwashing in your child, especially when:

  • After having gone to the bathroom
  • Before eating
  • Having sneezed into their hands
  • Finished playing outside

Toilet hygiene

Teaching your kids to flush every time they use the bathroom is part of proper etiquette, and is especially important if they use the bathroom at school or somewhere public. Toilet hygiene also involves washing the hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom.

Dental hygiene

Teeth hygiene involves taking good care of your mouth, and teeth. Brushing your teeth at least two times a day is important to prevent cavities or infections from happening. It is also important to floss every day, as a toothbrush cannot reach all tiny nooks and crannies in between teeth.

When teaching your child about personal hygiene habits, it is effective to create a list that you can post around the house or in their bedrooms. Placing reminders in strategic areas like the bathroom can also help instill the value of personal hygiene habits.

Below is a list of good hygiene habits that you should never forget to teach your child:

  1. Take a bath every day, and if you live in a hotter climate, try washing up at the end of the day or before you go to bed.
  2. Brush your teeth after every meal, or at least twice a day. Floss every time you brush your teeth, too.
  3. Change your clothes every day, or every time they get soiled with dirt or sweat. Change your underwear every time you shower, or every day.
  4. Wash your hands before eating, after sneezing, after using the bathroom, or after touching animals.
  5. Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow to prevent germs and droplets from contaminating your hand or spreading to other people.

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Tips for Teaching Your Child Personal Hygiene

As a child is growing up, they might not realize the importance of personal hygiene yet. Personal hygiene for school students might be the last on their list of priorities.

As a parent or guardian, there are a few ways you can make following a list of good hygiene habits easy and fun for your child, which makes it more likely that they will do it even when they are not with you.

Always schedule baths at the same time every day. If your child is not fond of bathing or washing up, try getting them toys or fun scented shampoo and soap to make bath time something to look forward to.

Also, use warmer water if you are bathing earlier for school. This will make a bath more appealing for a child.

Make sure to set an example and practice good personal hygiene yourself. Kids, especially younger ones, like to follow what the people around them are doing. You may also want to brush your teeth or wash your hands together, to make personal hygiene a bonding activity as well.

There are plenty of online resources that you can use that may help your child understand personal hygiene practices better. Videos on personal hygiene for kids on Youtube or children’s books can definitely be of great help.

Key Takeaways

Sharing with your kids the list of good hygiene habits is key to making sure that they remain healthy. Good hygiene habits are also important to boost their self-esteem and prevent them from spreading germs and bacteria to others. Teaching personal hygiene habits at a young age will guarantee that they will observe these necessary practices even when they are older.

Learn more about Healthy Habits here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos Updated May 26
Medically reviewed by John Paul Ferolino Abrina, M.D.
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