Teaching your child good hygiene practice not only makes your child self-reliant but also prevents the visit to the emergency room. It is never too early to coach your child on the proper hygiene habits. Experts recommend starting at an age where your child begins to comprehend ideas and the environment. Here are some great tips for teaching your child good hygiene habits.
1. Make Showers and Baths More Entertaining
Generally, there are two types of kids when it comes to bath time, kids who are excited about bath time and kids who dread bath time. The difference between these two types of children comes down to how you, as a caregiver, designs the showering experience. It would be best if you incorporate toys and bubbles during bath time, especially for toddlers. The latter would make the toddlers associate baths with fun; therefore, they will not fuss or rant about it.
2. Oral Hygiene
It would be best to train your child on how and when to brush their teeth. Actively participate with your child in teeth brushing exercises. This would provide an excellent way for you to bond with your child.
For older kids, allow them to brush their teeth themselves. Creating a routine ensures that they do not fall off the bandwagon and create good oral hygienic habits in the long run. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice each day or after every meal. The caregiver may pack a small tooth brushing kit to ensure that they brush their teeth when they are in school for older kids.
3. Frequent Handwashing
The importance of handwashing can not be over-emphasized enough. Harmful bacteria hides underneath long unkempt nails and can easily be transferred to the eyes, mouth, or other body surfaces, consequently causing infections. Ensures that your kid understands the importance of handwashing. Set up rules in the house to always wash their hands:
- Before and after meals
- After visiting the toilet
- After playing outside with dirt
- After playing with pets
- After being in contact with a sick friend
Provide soap and water near sinks or handwashing areas. For younger children, make hand washing more fun by singing hymns so that they know the right amount of time they should spend washing their hands.
In scenarios where running water and soap are not available, one may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Note that although experts recommend using hand sanitizes, they do not beat the efficacy of regular handwashing with soap and water.
Additionally, remember to remind your child to keep their nails short and clean to prevent germs transmission. You may opt to incorporate a nail brush in the handwashing areas so that they could clean their nails while washing their hands.
4. Be The Role Model
More often than one would like to admit, children tend to mimic the behaviors of adults that surround them. Therefore, it would be best if you practiced what you are trying to teach them. A child will understand the importance of bruising their teeth or taking their bath if they see the adult in their lives doing the same.
Additionally, children are visual learners. Keeping this in mind, it would be best if your child saw their favorite character in a movie, a show, or book brush their teeth or clean their bodies. TV shows and books are an excellent way to impact excellent hygiene practices to your child.
5. Involve Your Child in the Clean-Up Process
There is no better way to teach hygiene than actual involvement with your child. As stated earlier, children are more visual learners and excellent participants if allowed. Therefore, it is important to involve your child in the clean-up process. Let them tidy up the playing area after a play date or clean up the toys after the playdate.
For older children, it would be best to involve them in the daily running of the household slowly. Let them assist in cleaning dishes, tidying up the house, or simply wiping the dinner table after a meal. The latter will make them self-sufficient adults.
Conclusively, caregivers and parents are tasked with ensuring that the child under their care practices proper hygiene habits. The above tips will significantly help in achieving this.
By Samantha Higgins