If there was one person who hates water more than my cat, it is my five-year-old nephew. Bath time for him equates a battle where there is a constant raging war of wills with my sister. He would happily remain dirty and messy rather than take a soak in the suds. As I looked at my sister, chasing him around the house for a bath, I wondered about the importance of teaching children good hygiene habits. After all, hygiene is not just about keeping up appearances. It is important that children learn good hygiene-related habits to keep themselves healthy and prevent illnesses from spreading.
Hygiene Basics for Kids
Essential Bath Time
It is surprising how babies who just love to splash around in water grow up into messy prepubescent boys with a complete dislike for even a ten-minute shower. Irrespective of that, you need to set up a routine for the child's personal hygiene. You need to wash the face, neck, and bottom of infants throughout the day. Older children need to have a daily bath, especially in summer. For kids who have reached puberty and have to deal with persistent problems of body odor in arms and their private parts, a daily shower is a must.
Did you know that washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of illnesses? This is because the germs from an infected person can spread easily by hands. However, you need to teach kids proper hand washing techniques. The steps to proper hand washing include:
- First wet the hands thoroughly with warm water
- Use enough soap to create a good lather and rub the hands vigorously for 20 seconds
- Wash both the palms and back of your hands to get rid of the dirt stuck in your nails
- Rinse your hands and dry them with a towel
Pediatric dentists recommend that by age of one, all the children should be screened by dentists. This is because an estimated twenty percent of children in the age group of three are already affected by tooth decay. Regular brushing is an essential part of the dental hygiene. Pre-teens should ideally be brushing three times a day to prevent bad breath and tooth decay. Kids who have just relished a sugary treat should brush within twenty minutes to avoid the risk of cavities. It is essential that you teach children under the age of ten to brush and floss their teeth properly. If your child is susceptible to cavities, use a fluoridated mouthwash to prevent tooth decay.
Although most parents go through all the trouble of establishing a skin cleansing routine, not much attention is paid to hair care. However, washing the hair daily is as essential as bathing. While washing your hair with a shampoo, massage well and rinse off with water. You can experiment with different shampoos to choose the best one for your kid. If your child has a scalp problem, then you can use medicated shampoos prescribed by the doctor.
Making a routine that aids in the maintenance of proper hygiene as well as teaching kids about hygiene is essential for keeping your child clean and healthy in the long run. Ingrain these habits in your child when he or she is young using reminders, positive reinforcements, and even by setting a good example yourself, and it most likely that your child will inculcate these habits for life.