How to encourage good personal hygiene habits in children

It is vital your child learns how to look after their personal hygiene from a young age as it paves the way for the future. 

If we are being honest, we know that kids aren’t the best at keeping themselves clean and will do anything to get away with not washing and brushing their teeth.
But it is so vital that they learn how to look after their personal hygiene as then it paves the way for the future.
Here are some tips on encouraging your child from a young age to have good personal hygiene habits:
Be a good role model
Most kids won’t do things unless they see their own parents doing it and while your young tot may copy everything you do like brushing your teeth it may only last so long. However, saying that they will continue to mirror your behaviour somewhat and if they don’t see you brushing your teeth before bed they may decide not to themselves either.
Encourage your child
It is so important that your child is aware of how vital good hygiene habits are to reduce the chances of passing around germs and bacteria. Your child should know the basics including:
  • To wash their hands well with warm water and soap. If they are out and about they should use hand sanitiser gel. That way there are no excuses!
  • Good manners by covering their mouth when they cough, using a tissue when they sneeze and wiping their nose in a tissue rather than in their sleeve.
  • Having regular baths or showers as well as washing their hair and under their nails too.
  • Being mindful of the importance of clean teeth and brushing teeth twice a day to avoid any problems later.
  • Everyone must wash their hands after using the toilet, touching dirty items or cleaning up dirt or mud.
  • Don’t forget to teach the kids about the importance of cleaning around food either and teach them from a young age about raw meats and how to prepare food safely.
Explain the why
Kids may not understand that by not washing their hands they are carrying germs along the way and they may be more susceptible to illnesses because of their bad habits. Your child may not care if their teeth are dirty but show them a photo of someone with rotten teeth and make a rule that there are no treats without regular, daily tooth brushing. Explain why washing is a vital part of daily life and they will understand - though it may take practice.
Show your kid
You may need to show your kiddie how to wash in the bath; teach them how to take care of their personal hygiene; ensure they know how to dry off properly and dress in clean clothes – stop short of doing everything for your youngster when they get out of the bath. Let them learn.
Ensure children know to change their underwear every day and to change into fresh pyjamas and as they grow older you will need to teach them about antiperspirant and deodorants, regardless of your child’s sex.
Keep at it and your child will be fully aware of what is expected of them and it makes it easier for when your child is a teenager.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

Read more by Emma
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