Saturday, May 21

5 Tips for Parents to Teach Children Personal Hygiene Habits


Setting up a routine of healthy habits when your kids are young can create habits that last all their lives. Now is as important a time as any to teach little ones about healthy habits to ensure they stave off disease and infections while at home, school, or public places. It goes without saying that teaching your child good hygiene habits and health goes hand in hand. But, this can be tricky when you have kids who are fussy about routines. Until they have grown and can take better care of their health and hygiene, their well-being rests on your shoulders. A tricky burden for any parent to bear!

You know that hygiene is important, but how can you make your child understand it’s important to prioritise it? Well, as with everything you teach your child, it goes a lot better when you make it fun. Luckily there are a few ways you can make this journey more fun and easier for both you and your kids.

1. Teach proper handwashing

hand washing

The most important health and hygiene habit to teach your child is to wash their hands, especially after coming home from playing outside, using the toilet or potty and before eating. Hand washing is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses. With younger children, you may need to remind them from time to time not to “splash and dash” (i.e. run their hands for two seconds under the tap without soap and call it a day). Make sure your child washes their hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Use this time to help them count to twenty, you can reward them afterwards with a fun activity.

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2. Teach them to cover sneezes and coughs

blow your nose

Germs can travel far and wide on a sneeze or a cough. Get your child into the habit of covering his or her mouth and nose with a tissue and make sure to dispose of the used tissue immediately when they sneeze or cough. Follow the simple steps: blow your nose and throw away the tissue. Blow and throw, blow and throw.

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3. Teach them good toilet hygiene

flushing a toilet

Learning to use the toilet is like learning any new skill – it takes time. Remember to wipe your child’s bottom with toilet paper until your child learns how without wasting toilet paper. If needed, you can put a sign on your bathroom wall to remind your child what they have to do after using the toilet. Moreover, you should also teach your child how to wash their hands every time when using the toilet. If your child is younger, having a sticker or star chart for completing these tasks will work well and help you to get them invested in these habits.

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4. Encourage good dental health and hygiene

brushing teeth

younger children have the motor skills necessary to do a fairly good job of brushing their teeth on their own (though you may still want to take a quick turn until they are 6 or 7). Get your child into the habit of flossing, and brushing their tongue to avoid bad breath. Get a fun timer to help your child brush longer, like a cool little hourglass filled with blue or pink sand.

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5. Set up regular bath times

bath time

Many parents find that evening baths are a nice way to relax a child before bed and bathing the night before can help ease the morning rush. A regular bath routine is a fun way to teach kids about daily hygiene habits and the importance of keeping clean. Add a few bath toys into the equation and help your little see bath time as a fun time.

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