Children are not born with an understanding of things like hygiene and good health. Babies especially love just putting everything into their mouths, not knowing that doing so might expose them to germs and bacteria. In this age, parents can then do the work of making sure the little ones are safe from the diseases that can come with these microscopic bacteria. As they grow older, parents can teach them good hygiene habits that they can keep for the rest of their lives.
When they go to kindergarten or play outdoors, the threat grows bigger. No parent wants to have kids that are always sick and weak. However, hygiene is much more than just being free from bacteria and disease, it can also impact their psychological and emotional well-being. Good hygiene means your child is always fresh and always feels good. They also develop a positive body image and personality, because well-dressed and clean children feel confident about themselves.
There are some basic habits that you should teach your child so that he or she is always clean and healthy. By developing the habit, it becomes automatic to them so you can be sure that they will most likely continue doing it for years.
While hand washing is one of the most basic but important habits to teach your child, make sure that he or she also learns these important tips.
Brushing teeth for good oral health
Many kids find this quite boring but this is more than just avoiding bad breath. Good oral health depends on frequent brushing of the teeth, even if the children have few teeth or are still to grow permanent teeth. Brushing teeth should be done correctly, otherwise, they do not get thoroughly cleaned. Teach the proper way by brushing every part of the mouth slowly in a circular motion. Build the habit of doing it twice a day. Once the kids are able to, teach them how to floss. For some great dental products, you may like our articles on the best electric toothbrushes for kids and the top baby toothbrushes.
Clean the whole body by bathing
Children stay in the bath happily, playing with toys and with bubbles in the water. However, this is also very important to keep the whole body clean, especially areas in the body where sweat and dirt might accumulate. Thankfully, baths are also quite refreshing and invigorating for the little ones, though there are kids out there who are not big fans of bathing. Toddlers and children can use some soap to clean the body properly. Scrubbing is also important, though make sure that you remain gentle as children’s skin is delicate.
Hair should also be washed, though this should not be done daily given the chance of damaging the scalp. Again, once they are bigger, children’s hair should be washed with shampoo. Much like baths, little ones do not need to shampoo every day, this will depend on the weather and the type of hair as well. The warm summers require more frequent washing and showering.
Keep body odor at bay with underarm deodorant
If you yourself experience a lot of sweating under the arms, underarm deodorants can help. Even if the kids are young, they may still sweat and stink during warm summer days. Because this might start to stink, you do not wait for body odor before you decide to introduce the use of some mild deodorants and antiperspirants for children. For our list of the most popular products at the moment, make sure you read our guide to the top deodorants for kids.
Cleaning the ears and nose too
The nose and the ears are where dirt from the outside world or from inside the body accumulates. For example, earwax needs to be cleaned from the outer lobes. Never use an earbud, because there is a risk of eardrum damage. Cleaning the nose is also important especially when the air is dry because the sinus will dry up. On younger babies who can only breathe through the nose, this can be very dangerous. This should be done regularly at home more often, because in most cultures, picking the nose is a very bad habit.
Clean hands = Good health
This habit is important in keeping your little one free from disease and germs. Hands are the biggest culprits because they touch everything, from the nose to the mouth and every item that may also be touched by other people. Unfortunately, there are too many people out there who do not do this especially after going to the bathroom. Other important times to do this include before and after eating, as well as upon arriving home and after going to the toilet. Sick kids should wash hands after sneezing or coughing.
Speaking of clean hands, trimmed nails are also vital to good health. Kids who love to play in dirt or sand will accumulate dirt on the fingernails. While the children are still young, parents will have to cut them weekly until they can do it themselves. Cleaning under the nails is also a great habit to start.
Proper toilet habits are a must
Beyond just potty training, kids need to realize that going to the toilet exposes them to a lot of germs. This is why hands should be washed thoroughly afterward. There are also important steps that can clean your home’s bathroom to stop the spread of germs. Children should learn to use the toilet properly and flushing is also a very important thing.
Clean clothes are more than just for fashion
Keeping your child’s clothes clean can be a challenge, especially when he or she can crawl or walk. Still, you should wash them often and hang them outside to dry so your little one always has stain- and germ-free clothes to wear.
The same goes for shoes and socks, especially if your kid has sweaty feet or plays sports. Regular cleaning is important to avoid the growth of some bacteria due to the sweat and moisture in the shoes. Thankfully, most washing machines are able to do this for you, but letting it dry in the sun is still quite essential to ensure that the shoes are fully dry.
As adults, most of these things seem quite common sense and even routine for you. However, your little one is still learning which habits to develop and it takes frequent practice into habits for them. To make it fun and easy, consider doing most of these tasks together.