Categories
Diet & Nutrition Sparkling Stars

Teaching Kids Hygiene Habits to Last a Lifetime

When you teach your children hygiene tips at the right age, it will help them develop a sense of consistency and reflect in other areas of their lives too. Here’s how you can do it.

Have you noticed that for some people, washing their hands before a meal or keeping their fingernails clean comes naturally? Then there are those that need some reminding or coaxing and even some people who ignore and forget about these habits altogether. 

What sets these people apart is how and when they were taught about personal hygiene. It takes a lot of practice or/and a true understanding of the benefits of good hygiene for these habits to sink in. That’s why, starting young and teaching kids hygiene habits to last a lifetime becomes all the more important.

There are a few measures you can take in order to safeguard your little one’s health and safety. One of the best measures is to help them integrate personal hygienic habits into their daily routine.

Now, it can prove difficult to teach your kids the significance of hygiene but there are ways to make the process easy (and fun).

Some of those ways you can teach kids hygiene are listed below: 

Handwashing 101

Hand washing is the most basic, yet the most valuable and fundamental habit when it comes to personal hygiene. It helps protect not just you, but your entire family from germs. Hands should be washed before and after all meals, after being outside or handling mail, after touching your nose or mouth and after using the bathroom. Washing your hand might seem simple but you’ll be surprised to know that according to this study by FSIS, most of the people wash their hands wrong 97% of the time.

You can have a look at this article that accurately details the proper method of washing hands: Hand Washing: Clean Hands Save Lives 

If you prefer to watch a video instead on how to wash hands properly for 20 seconds, here’s the resource: 

20-Second Hand Washing – The Science behind it and why it WORKS

Pro tip: To make hand-washing into a lasting habit, you can try buying either sweet-scented soaps or let your kids choose for themselves. 

You First

Kids are, by nature, prone to imitating what their parents are doing (without ever discriminating between good or bad habits). 

To teach your kids how to remain hygienic, you need to become a role model yourself.

Try and improve your own habits in regards to health and fitness, and then try to channel the same core habits into your kids. Let them see you when you brush your teeth, trim your nails or wash your hands.

Make it Cool

Does your little one fancy singing jolly rhymes or maybe, dancing? How about both? 

Incorporating fun acts like singing, dancing, or role-playing (e.g you can be a germ and your kid can be commander safeguard) makes tedious tasks like bathing and washing hands a lot more cool and interesting for your kids. 

Don’t remember any bath-time songs from your own childhood? No worries. Just check out this short playlist after you’re done reading this article: Bath Time 

Make Them “Want” To Do It 

Forcing your kids to follow these steps or telling them they have to do it because you said so – may only work for so long. Pretty soon they’ll either forget or just do it when you’re around. The best way to make sure they continue to practice these good hygiene habits (even when they are alone or out of the house or all grown up) is to make them actually want to do it.

Here are two interesting ways to start:

  • Teach them the basic concepts of germs and diseases and why they should try to avoid them. This article lists some fun activities to make your child more knowledgeable and cautious regarding germs and diseases.
  • Make them understand the advantages of proper health, e.g more playtime, fewer sick days, more people wanting to be around them, etc. 

Make Cleanliness Sound Inviting 

Make cleanliness sound a bit more inviting to your kids through the usage of technical facilities like productivity and health apps, interactive music playlists for kids’ health, and reading relevant books. 

Ever heard of Talking Tom? 

It’s a great (and free) app for kids where they have to take detailed care of Tom (their talkative pet) by feeding him, clothing him, making him use the toilet, and even travel the whole world around and interact with other real-time “Toms” from around the globe. 

By taking care of their virtual pet, your child becomes conscious in regards to their own health, as well. 

Shape Bathing/Washing as Special Events 

What better way to teach “how to remain hygienic and clean” to younger kids than by making special occasions out of such menial tasks (so your children anticipate and look forward to such fun activities)? 

There’s lots you can do here. For instance, buying floating ducks, foamy and fragrant soaps, baby shampoos, flavored toothpaste, and other toys can make even the wearisome chores of personal hygiene sound a lot more fun to your kids. 

Repetition

When it comes to building habits, irregular practice doesn’t suffice. Constant practice is the key to building long-lasting and eternal hygienic habits. 

How to maintain a regular health schedule for your kid along with dozens of your other responsibilities? The answer to the prior question lies in setting timely reminders and notifications that let you know when bath time is approaching or a hair wash is due, etc. 

You can use an app to manage all that. One such app (freely available, of course) on playstore is “To Do List“. It’s a great tool that helps you track records from the minutest detail in your schedule like teeth brushing after dinnertime to even planning for events of the next month in advance. 

Shampooed hair twice a week? Check. 

Bath time for little Ananya at 4 PM? Check. 

Fancy the app already? 

Give it a try! 

Megha Seth

By Megha Seth

Megha Seth is a freelance writer specializing in health & wellness, psychology, and lifestyle content. She is particularly interested in writing about pre-teens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *