As a parent, teaching your child about personal hygiene is essential. Not only do your child’s hygienic habits keep him clean and healthy, but they help keep those around him healthy. Follow these personal hygiene tips when teaching your child.
DO: Teach the essentials
A child must wash his hands, cover his coughs and sneezes, brush his teeth and take baths. It is never too early to teach your child the basics. Teach your child to wash his hands after toileting, after playing and before meals. Have your child cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, not with hands. Get your child in the habit of brushing his teeth in the morning, before bed and after every meal and taking a bath or shower before bed.
DO: Time your children
It is not enough to teach your child how to wash his hands or brush his teeth. Teach your child how to do both properly. Teach your child to sing the ABC song or “Happy Birthday” while washing his hands. Give your child a cool hourglass to use to time teeth brushing. Show your child how to floss correctly, and tell your child never to swallow toothpaste. Show your child the essentials, but also show your child how to perform those essentials the right way.
DON’T: Nag instead of encourage
Children rarely do anything because they are nagged. Instead, encourage your child to practice proper hygiene. Gently remind your child to wash his hands when necessary. Make bath time a fun experience with bubbles and toys. Let your child pick out a toothbrush and toothpaste. Buy fun, shaped soaps for hand washing. Reward your child with positive praise when he brushes his teeth without being asked. Give your child an extra five minutes with a favorite book before bed for taking a bath.
DON’T: Fail to lead by example
You are the best example for your child. If you expect your child to have good personal hygiene, you must have it yourself. Do everything that you want your child to do. Brush your teeth several times a day, wash your hands often and bathe every day. Block your sneezes and coughs with a tissue or your arm. Your child looks to you as a leader. Show your child what you expect by doing it yourself.
Teach your child to be clean and healthy by following these personal hygiene tips. These are lessons that follow your child throughout his lifetime. Teach your child great personal hygiene by being a good example of cleanliness.