10 Personal Hygiene Practices to Teach Your Children Today
Personal hygiene is paramount when it comes to staying healthy and preventing illnesses. Here are 10 personal hygiene practices to teach your children.
As parents, our priority is to keep our kids healthy and prevent them from getting sick. With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and the flu season upon us, it is especially important to teach our kids the importance of personal hygiene and the part it plays in helping to stop the spread of diseases. To help you do that, here are 10 personal hygiene practices you should be teaching your children:
10 personal hygiene practices to teach your children
The golden rule that every child should follow as soon as they are tall enough to reach the kitchen or bathroom sink themselves is hand-washing. This is especially important in today's context where we find ourselves in the midst of an outbreak.
Teach your kids to concentrate on scrubbing all areas of their hands thoroughly including fingernails, for a period of 20 seconds or more, with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
Use a tissue to open public washroom doors
Always insist on your family using a tissue to open public washroom doors. Teach your kids to bin the tissue responsibly after they are done with it.
Shower when you reach home
Your children should always shower, and put on a fresh set of clothes whenever they come from school or after an evening at the playground.
Spot-wash and change into clean clothes
If they are unable to have a shower or if they are short on time, make sure they spot-clean and wash exposed parts of their bodies and change out of their outdoor clothes.
No sitting on the bed with outdoor clothes
Clothes worn outdoors should be treated as dirty and teeming with bacteria and unseen parasites on them. Teach your kids to make a habit of stripping out of their outdoor clothes immediately, upon returning home.
No shoes indoors policy
Enforce a strict no-footwear indoors policy. The soles of shoes carry traces of faecal matter and bacteria including E.coli, in particular. Forget the Coronavirus infection, these pathogens are known to cause severe diarrhoea, urinary tract infections and even meningitis.
No shoes on bed/sofa
The no-footwear policy is especially important when sitting on couches and beds. We've all been horrified at movies where children tramp into their rooms and plop on their beds with their shoes on, or start jumping on couches in glee. While this is acceptable in Hollywood, we cannot let it take place in our homes. Sofas and beds are places of rest, and are surfaces that come into direct contact with our faces.
Dispose of waste appropriately
Teach your child to bin wrappers, food waste, and other items considered rubbish, appropriately. They must be taught at a young age to never leave rubbish lying around as these can attract disease-harbouring household pests into the home.
While sharing is an important part of fostering good friendships, teach your children to avoid dipping their fingers into their friend's lunchboxes, and taking bites off each other's sandwiches. They should learn to sneeze or cough into a tissue and never into their food, especially in a group setting where there are many children sitting around with trays of food.
Children are famous tactile explorers. The downside of this, however, is the need to lick toys and put them into their mouths. Always ensure your child is taught the dangers of putting objects into their mouths and licking foreign articles such as window panes and poles on buses.
Importance of the 10 personal hygiene practices
The most important step of instilling good habits comes with practising it yourself. Your child starts developing habits at a very young age. Research shows babies can detect patterns as early as 2 months old. Your child is always watching and will imitate behaviours he/she learns from you.
While you may want to do everything for your kid, it is crucial that you inculcate habits that foster good hygiene right from the start. Give importance to the topic of cleanliness in your home and enable your kids to kickstart a more robust regime in hygiene.