Habits made early are easy to follow throughout life. If these habits are good habits, there is no comparison to that.
Personal hygiene are the habits which help us stay healthy and should therefore be followed from the day one. Of course the new baby who has just come to the world can not do it on his or her own. We parents play a crucial part in doing it the right way for our children and later imbibing in them the habits as soon as we can.
Children do what they see. So, before asking them to follow a particular thing it is mandatory for us adults to do the same first. And it will be quite surprising to see them follow the lead even without being told.
We come in contact with so many germs and viruses especially in times like these (Covid times), which makes it even more important for use to teach our kids how to stay tidy and clean through out the day. They tend to touch anywhere and everywhere, play in mud, in water and where not. We need not stop the fun but can help them maintain a good hygiene and stay healthy.
1. Hand Hygiene
Anything that goes into the mouth is via the hands. So, it is really very important for us to teach our kids how to wash the hands properly covering all the sides, fingers, nails and thumb.
Hand washing should be done:
- Before every meal
- After every meal
- After the child comes back from playing outside
- After using the toilet
- After sneezing or coughing (In case done in the hand)
- Touch an animal
Soap and water should be used to wash the hands properly not leaving any corner or side. Hands should be washed a minimum for 20 seconds.
You can see a hand washing demo in the below video:
2. Properly cutting the nails.
Nail hygiene is something very important as long nails can bear a lot of dust and germs which can directly go into the mouth.
Recently what I noticed was toddlers play with the clay and the sand a lot. And if they have long nails, the clay or the sand tend to go inside the nails and stay there which is the source of germs and while the child eats, all the germs enters the child’s mouth and therefore the stomach leading to infections.
So, nail hygiene is one of the most important thing to be taught.
3. Oral Hygiene
Cleaning of a child’s mouth is as important as that of an adult. Brushing of teeth as well as cleaning the tongue should be mandatory and the habit should be introduced at a very early stage to the kids.
Brushing of kids teeth should start as soon as the first tooth erupts in the babies mouth. The parents should brush the child’s teeth at least till the age of 5-6 years and then supervise them while brushing later.
There are a lot of exciting ways to help your child to brush his or her teeth and not resist or avoid brushing.
A dental visit at least once every 6 months is mandatory and should not be avoided.
Bathing should be something that is done everyday as it helps to keep the body clean and fresh
A mild soap should be used and the child should be taught how to apply it on the areas generally missed, e.g. the arm pits.
Washing the hair 2-3 times a week is also mandatory to keep them clean and healthy.
Pat dry using a clean dry towel after bathing and fresh clothes should be worn.
A shower before bedtime helps in relaxing the body and sleeping better.
5. Keeping the room and the surrounding clean
The cleaner the better.
When the kids are small i.e. when they are just toddlers involve them with you in cleaning the room or the house. This will help them give a basic concept of cleanliness.
Help them clean their room till the age of 4-5, by keeping the toys in place, keeping the books back on the cook shelf, making the bed, folding their clothes, keeping them back in the cupboard. Slowly they will get into the pace and start doing it on their own. If they don’t, you as parent have the responsibility to make sure they do (politely).
As it is said, ” Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, it is very true and the kids should be taught about it as soon as possible.