5 Hygiene Practices Every Kid Should Learn
I have always believed in the phrase "health and hygiene goes hand in hand".; When my daughter was born some 9 years back, we didn't use to get sanitizers at my mom's place as it was a small town, but I had asked my mom to request every close friend or relative to wash their hands before taking the baby in their arms. Many people took this in spirit and complied while some of them considered it too modern or "Kya hum saaf nahi hai kind of stuff" but I had not budged.
Years later when my sister's daughter was born at the same place thankfully we had sanitizers but still requesting someone to use it before meeting the baby was an issue with some people!!
Maintaining hygiene at home and in our day to day practices. It is a way of life and when it comes to kids, whether infants or toddlers or even teenagers, it is imperative that they make it a habit to practice it.
From whatever little experience I have as a mother, I can say that instilling these good habits in kids from an early age pays later. It not only helps them fight some of the infections and diseases which are all around us these days (thanks to increasing pollution) but also makes their personality pleasing. At home, in school, after coming back home from outside or even when at someone else's home or place once learnt, these habits stay with them for a lifetime.
While infants are mostly dependant on their parents as far as hygiene related things like feeding, hygiene and cleaning; hygiene is a concern for toddlers and above we can start teaching them a few things which I am listing below:
- Washing hands: This is one ritual which you can start teaching a kid as early as when he or she is 2 years old. One has to initially assist the kids in washing hands on various occasions like before and after meals, after they have finished playing and whenever they are back home from some place but you will be happy that by and by they will not even bother you and do it on their own. Even when outside carrying sanitizers and disinfectant tissues and using them will make them learn a lot. They will start asking for it on their own. My daughter always carries a sanitizer to school and whenever we eat outside, before us she is the one who will take a tissue and clean her plate and cutlery.
- Oral hygiene: There is a notion amongst few mothers that brushing milk teeth is not required but the fact is that even if your child has 4 erupted tooth, you must start brushing them lightly with an age appropriate brush and paste. Teaching children how to brush their teeth thoroughly at least twice a day, rinsing the mouth after every meal and using mouthwash is also essential.
- Nail hygiene: Nails harbor a lot of germs when not trimmed regularly. Infants usually put their fingers in their mouth when teething and for grown up kids, sometimes they develop habits of biting their nails. Germs in the nails pass on easily into the mouth while eating food and can cause a lot of diseases. Also, untrimmed nails can hurt the babies as well as their caretakers many times. Thus, it is important to timely trim nails for infants and small kids with a good nail cutter and make older kids aware about maintaining nail hygiene.
- Bathing: It is no less than a triumphant moment for a new mother when she is able to bathe her baby herself. Every mother definitely takes full care about using good quality baby products and proper methodology for bathing her kid,; but later, sometimes when kids grow up they give excuses on this account. We need to explain kids how bathing everyday is imperative to their good health and well being. This includes skin care and hair care routine. We also need to remember that kids fall sick sometimes and if they are running a fever they can't take bath. In that case a proper sponging can be done to maintain hygiene.
- Toilet training and hygiene: It is really difficult sometimes to toilet train a kid but besides training them for that, we also need to make them learn a few points on hygiene. How to wash their private parts properly is one of them. Doctor's recommend that whenever we wash poop, it should be done from front to back, side and any contact of poop with urinary system should be avoided. (Poop is filled with germs which, if comes in contact with urinary tract may cause UTI). New mothers should learn how to regularly clean their babies private parts and avoid using powders or soap near that area, only plain water or wipes are the best.
Also at home, we know that our toilets are clean, but teaching kids to use a clean toilet only when outside home and how to use toilet paper to clean the seat is necessary. Washing their hands properly after every visit to loo is also a must.
Besides all these main points, things like feet cleaning, maybe with plain water before sleeping, using clean and properly dried clothes and towels, removing slippers and shoes outside the home, throwing used tissues in a bin, using a napkin while coughing and sneezing,; cleaning ears once a week and many other small things from our day to day routine can be taught.
Children see and follow us so it is we who can make them.learn so much by just leading through example.
Also read: 5 Benefits of Reading Aloud To Your Kids
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