Kids playing with pillow

Establishing personal hygiene habits for your kids

You may know why hygiene habits are important, but your kids don’t. They usually prefer playing outside all day and being as dirty as can be. Let’s not forget they love sugar, too. So no matter how many times you tell them to take a shower or brush their teeth, they’re probably going to refuse. Kids are naturally curious and want to know the answers to everything, including why they should take care of their hygiene. Don’t be surprised if you get too many “whys” in a row when trying to explain the importance of hygiene, but don’t fall into the “because I said so” trap either.

There are ways of showing your kid why personal hygiene is important without having a war of stubbornness with them. With these tips, you’ll surely be able to prove to them keeping up personal hygiene is both fun and important.

1. Showering

Showers are, by far, the most basic way of keeping up one’s hygiene. It’s necessary for your child to learn how to shower or bathe themselves properly. You’ll be the one bathing them from a young age, which means you have the power to start forming habits early on.

Bathe your baby at the same time each night or morning, and they’ll soon get used to getting in the water at that time. Try to create a positive and warm atmosphere that grows with your child. They should associate the water and being clean with positive emotions.

As your child grows, don’t simply bathe them and expect them to just do it themselves one day. Instead, teach them the right ways of bathing themselves, show them while you do it, and make sure they understand why it’s important.

Then, when they’re old enough to hold the showerhead themselves, gradually introduce them to showering on their own. In the beginning, every time they successfully shower themselves, you should reward them with praise and attention. Tell them how lovely they look and how great they smell. This will enforce the positive behaviour you want to see.

2. Deodorant

After the shower comes the deodorant. Even though this isn’t a necessary part of personal hygiene when your child is young, it gets more necessary as they grow older. It’s especially important to teach them about using deodorant when they’re near puberty.

At this age, their hormones are going to be wild and making them sweat a lot, so applying deodorant after showering will help them stay fresh and smell nice for longer. One very important lesson about deodorant is that they shouldn’t apply it on dirty skin, only when they’re clean. Mixing deodorant with sweat just makes the situation worse.

When choosing the right deodorant for your child, make sure to avoid aluminium. It can be quite toxic and isn’t good for your skin at all, especially if you’re young.

3. Washing hands

Dirty hands are the easiest way to spread bacteria and get sick. If your child doesn’t wash their hands, they could end up with something mild like a cold or something a bit more extreme like hepatitis A. When they’re young, children also tend to put their hands in their mouth, which also means they could end up swallowing harmful bacteria.

To avoid all of these scenarios, it’s important to teach your child to wash their hands as soon as they come home from the outside. If they pet an animal, if they were playing, and if they were touching anything outside, they need to wash their hands. It’s also especially important to wash their hands before and after a meal.

You should teach your child the proper way to wash their hands so as to ensure they’re actually getting rid of the bacteria, not just mucking around. Soon enough, your kid will form a habit of washing their hands at the right moments and you’ll have no problems.

4. Dental hygiene

The hardest part about instilling personal hygiene habits in your kids might be getting them to brush their teeth. Even though it only takes a few minutes, proper teeth brushing can be very boring and frustrating for a child, especially if they’re young. One thing that might help with this is creating a morning and evening routine. Create the same kind of environment and mood each morning and each evening.  If possible, make sure they wake up and go to bed at the same time, too.

Kids respond well to routine no matter how hard they fight it in the beginning. Brushing their teeth will become instinctive soon enough, you just have to be patient and determined. As well as this tactic, it’s important to talk to your child about why dental hygiene is important. Read up about it on the internet and present this information to your child in a way they will understand.

We often underestimate kids and think they don’t get how the world works, but they’re much smarter than we give them credit. Your kid will surely be able to understand why dental hygiene is important if you explain it properly.

In this context, you should also mention the child dental benefit scheme. Thanks to this, your child may even be eligible for some dental work. That project can help your kid get rid of their fear of dentists and show them that taking care of their teeth has rewards just like neglecting them has consequences for their health.

5. Clean clothes

Wearing the same clothes every day just isn’t acceptable. It’s not healthy for your child to be wearing the same clothes and especially the same underwear every day. They’re active a lot, they move around, they play, and they sweat. Even if clothes don’t smell after a child has worn them, it’s not a good idea to put them on the next day.

Your child should especially wear a clean pair of underwear every day. Not controlling their bladder entirely is common when they’re little. As well as that, some discharge is possible (and normal). On top of all this, we can’t forget that your child is still just a child and hasn’t mastered the art of wiping their bum yet.

Clean underwear ensures your child is clean and doesn’t have any problems down there. This is a very sensitive area in general, and it’s especially sensitive in children. The way you dress your child when they’re young and how you do it will definitely translate into how they approach clothes as adults. They’ll simply be used to one method and won’t even think to change it, so use your power wisely.

Conclusion

As you can see, instilling important habits in your kids doesn’t have to give you a headache. Giving them the right idea about their personal hygiene habits is essential at a young age. What you teach them now is what they’ll carry into adulthood and what they’ll teach their kids someday. Personal hygiene habits are of the utmost importance and you need to make an active effort to show your kids why they matter. This won’t be an easy task, but it will be worth it. With these tips, you’ll be able to finish the job much more quickly, too.

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