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6 Personal Hygiene Habits We Must Teach Our Kids

Brushing teeth and having regular showers; some of the important personal hygiene habits we must teach our kids.

Aristotle said, “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference”.

Whether we realize it or not, through our actions and words, we make a huge difference in our children’s lives. Those tiny little humans look up at us not for just basic needs and protection but for guidance as well. Among all the things we teach our children, personal hygiene is one that leads them towards a healthy lifestyle. Keeping a good personal hygiene as adults is only possible if the habit was built in earlier years of life.

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What is Personal Hygiene?

Personal hygiene means taking care of your body and keeping it clean. Not only does it affect your health but also the health of people around you. Children need to learn the importance of personal hygiene to remain healthy and feel good about themselves.

Personal Hygiene Habits We Must Teach Our Kids Include the Following:

Washing Hands

Hand washing is the first step towards better personal hygiene. Reminding the habit of hand washing will keep your kids safe from various kinds of transferable diseases. It is the best defense against the spread of bacteria and viruses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more crucial to teach children the importance of hand washing to reduce the spread of virus.

Children should be taught proper use of soap, hand sanitizers and correct way of washing hands. It is important to remind them to wash their hands before and after eating, after using toilet, after playing with the pets, after sneezing, coughing and blowing nose and after playing. You can be creative (incorporate poems and stories) and make hand washing a fun activity to maintain a habit of keeping the hands clean.

Taking Bath/Shower

Most children love to play with water. Maintaining the habit of taking showers on a regular basis is easier when the kids are young. Children of all ages should take a shower after having physical activities and before bedtime.

Teach your children the correct way of cleaning the body; washing entire body, cleaning under arms, properly cleaning their privates and to thoroughly dry up before getting dressed. Keeping a clean body helps boost the confidence in children.  

Teeth Brushing

Children should learn the importance of dental hygiene. Proper brushing should be taught at a very young age to help maintain a better oral health. Dentists and oral hygienist recommend brushing twice a day; once in the morning and before going to bed.

With several different kinds of tooth brushes available in the market, pick the one your child loves and make brushing fun for him. You can even make a routine of brushing with your child and lead by example.

Although flossing may seem a little technical but children are quick learners and most children can do it properly by the age of 10. Parents should start to floss between the teeth as soon as the child grows them together.

Children should be taught how eating a balanced diet and avoiding junk food can help develop stronger teeth, why bad breath is a big NO-NO and why they should visit a dentist on a regular basis. 

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Wearing Clean Clothes and Shoes

With much needed outdoor physical activities comes a dreaded pile of dirty clothes. No matter how annoying it is for you to do the laundry, instilling the habit of wearing fresh clothes and undergarments on a daily basis is very important. Children should learn that dirty clothes are home to microorganisms that cause infections and bad body odor.

You can let your kids choose their clothes and change clothes themselves. In case the kids have to wear the same school uniform the next day, it should be hanged up in air as sunlight and air kill the germs.

Shoes should be taken off immediately after coming home from school or play and should be placed in open air. It is better to wear one pair on alternate days to avoid smell. Keeping shoes clean will not only make them last longer, less likely to smell but also in better feet hygiene.

Trimming Nails

Nails collect dirt and germs and should be trimmed and cleaned on a regular basis. Use a kid size nail clipper to avoid any accidental cuts. Undersides of the nails should be cleaned with soap and water daily. Keeping finger and toe nails clean will reduces the chances of spread of infections.

Children should be taught to keep a check on their finger and toe nails because nails tell us a lot about our overall health. First signs of various health problems show up in nails in form of dark streaks, dry and brittle nails.   

Hair Cleaning

Although hair washing is a part of taking bath/shower however this is not all. Clean hair means your hair is free from dandruff, lice and nits.

Children should be taught the correct way to wash with a shampoo and rinse the hair. It is the oil, sweat and dead skin cells that make the hair look greasy so a proper washing is essential for hair to look shiny and stay healthy. Proper hair brushing is important for blood circulation in the head which nourishes the hair and promote hair growth.

Why is Teaching Habitual Personal Hygiene to Kids Important?   

Childhood is the best time to learn good habits and sticking to the routines is the key. There is no exact age to teach healthy habits and you can start as early as possible.

Personal hygiene is an important aspect of bringing up confident children and parents should make sure that their kids not only learn basic hygiene protocols but also stick to them in years to come.   

Books About Personal Hygiene

Psychologist Dani Kaufman, in one of his articles titled “Raising Well-Adjusted Kids” said:

‘Building routines with your children helps them to feel safe. They know what to expect when they go home, and it provides them with clear boundaries, expectations, and consistency.’

Habit of personal hygiene can be developed by framing it around already developed habits. For example, habit of hand washing can be developed around meal times. When the meal is ready to be served, make sure the children have washed their hands or take them along for hand washing. During formation of habits, children learn important life skills that help them throughout their life. The children become more independent, responsible, disciplined and acquire self-correction skills.

Being parents, we teach good personal hygiene habits in our kids. Missing on any of the elements of personal hygiene can lead to body odor, oily skin and even serious problems like spread of infectious diseases. We surely don’t want that, so we need to teach our kids habitual personal hygiene as early as possible.

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18 thoughts on “6 Personal Hygiene Habits We Must Teach Our Kids

  1. All great points and tips for maintaining a routine and developing great personal hygiene from a young age. We practice all of these regularly with our 2 kids.

  2. Well said. It is important to teach personal hygiene to kids from a young age. I like the list of books that you have shared at the end. Very helpful.

  3. It is so important to teach our kids about cleanliness and proper hygiene most especially these days of pandemics. In this way, it can help them to be healthy and safe.

  4. so very true; these are all habits we need to have them develop from an early age so it is part of their and our lives

  5. As a teacher I must completely agree. I see how some parents don’t care about this and them some kids do all kind if gross stuff in the classroom. Great post!

  6. This is an excellent list! My boys are at the age where unfortunately this stuff is not a worry of theirs, so I am being diligent in instilling these good habits.

  7. Excellent teaching points. I like the way you mentioned healthy eating alongside dental care, brushing and flossing

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