How to teach your kids the importance of personal hygiene

My elder son (4 years 8 months) has reached an age where he has a why and how for everything you tell him to do. His enthusiastic brain is jumping miles in search of answers for his never-ending questions and definitely I have to be armed and ready all the time with the ways and means to satisfy his curiosity tinkers. Kids of his age (3 – 8 yrs.) are generally developing the streak of independence in almost every arena; eating, bathing, homework etc. We as parents must support their attempts and encourage them to continue trying and in order to achieve fruitful results we must also teach them methods and means for achieving this independence. One such concern is personal hygiene – how to teach your kids the importance of personal hygiene? I have tried to compile a list for all those young mothers out there so that you would get to know the focus areas whenever you come across similar situations today, tomorrow or in future.

  1. Oral Hygiene –
    Brushing teeth (at least twice a day) along with cleaning the tongue is very important. Take the lead and make it fun by funny steps or some kind of competition – such things will make kids giggle and they would look forward to the act again.
  2. Bathing –
    Allow your kid to take bath on his/her own or at least start with some rituals of bathing. This will not only enhance their confidence and sense of independence, it will also give you an opportunity to teach them.
  3. Hair wash –
    Encourage them to apply the shampoo on his/her own. Use a mild shampoo, better if it has some appealing fragrance and no tears formula. For instance, the shampoo from Carrie Junior. The brand has a combined product (hair and body wash) too which can be used as both shampoo as well as body wash.
  4. Body Wash –
    Some kids have very sensitive skin. I always perform armpit test (I was told about this test by an old aunt in our neighborhood when my elder son was born and he had serious allergies with soap) before trying out any new body wash or soap. This is not a medical advice; it’s just my own experience. You may consult your Physician before trying it out. Just apply a little soap/body wash in the armpit first, if it itches or turns red, immediately wash it and do not use that product. Other things which you must remember while taking your kid through this experience of bathing are as follows:

    • Quantity of soap – how much is sufficient?
    • How to apply?
    • Whether you want to use loofah or not?
    • Importance of washing off the soap properly.
    • The possible allergies/skin ailments that can develop if the soap is not rinsed off properly also need to be explained to kids.
  5. Hand Wash –
    Make it a habit to wash hands in front of your kid every time you come back from the market or park or outside. Kids do what they see, they will find it a natural activity and thus will try to imitate. Use good quality soap or liquid soap dispensers which are hypoallergenic and gentle on their soft skin as you should expect them willing to wash their hands as many times as they can. New activities are generally fun activities for them.
  6. Foot Wash –
    I have seen parents focusing on washing hands but washing feet don’t seem this important which is not a good habit. You must make it a point that kids do wash their feet thoroughly after coming back from park or before going to bed. Gently rub one foot on the other, one by one, this will not only clean the dirt, but it will also do a soft massage on the feet which will help kids relaxed. Happy kids are Healthy kids. (Personal experience)

Personal hygiene is an attitude – the earlier you start developing it, the better it is for your kid. Choose the best products for your children and make them your companion in this journey. Let the fun flourish their health.

Happy parenting!

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