January 20, 2022
Now more than ever, teaching your children the importance of proper personal hygiene is a crucial step to keeping them not only clean but healthy. It’s important to set them up with smart, healthy habits while they’re still young and to continue to teach them as they grow into adolescence. Below we have compiled some tips to help your little one master hand washing, sneezing, tooth brushing, and other core personal hygiene skills.
Show and Tell
Young children are visual learners, so make sure you personally demonstrate healthy routines you want them to learn. Participate as often as you can.
Use Books and Stories
Make sure kids know why good hygiene is important. There are many storybooks and online activities that can teach kids about germs and bacteria, and how washing hands, bathing, and brushing can keep them healthy. There are even smartphone apps to help teach about hygiene and track their efforts.
Keep a chart and reward your children with stickers every time they properly demonstrate good hygiene. Incentivize them further by offering a reward when they collect a certain number of stickers.
It is recommended that hand washing should last at least 20 seconds. Many people find that teaching their kids to wash their hands while singing “Happy Birthday” twice works well. Tooth brushing should last at least 2 minutes. Find a song this length that your child loves and play it while they are brushing. If all else fails, keeping a timer in the bathroom works great as well.
Make It Fun
There are a lot of ways you can make hygiene fun for kids. Buying them soaps, toothpaste, and toothbrushes with their favorite characters or fragrances are great options. You can also try fun activities such as dancing while brushing or hand washing. Another way to encourage good hygiene is by using shampoo bubbles to create silly hairdos and beards.
Stick to a Routine
Kids thrive on routines. By setting strict morning, nighttime, and bath time routines, good hygiene will eventually become an automatic response.