Health

Hygiene in Children - Step by Step Guidelines

Payal
3 to 7 years

Created by Payal
Updated on Dec 18, 2012

Hygiene in Children Step by Step Guidelines

The first part of the article on hygiene dealt with what personal hygiene means and the results of having poor hygiene standards. This part will gives a comprehensive list of various types of hygiene practices to be followed at various ages.


Oral:

Regular brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash is important for good dental hygiene.

Brushing twice a day has been widely accepted as the norm today. Children should be explained the proper way to brush and explained the importance of brushing twice daily. It would help to establish with them the connection between not brushing and tooth decay. Use of mouthwash may be encourages at least twice a day after meals. After having any food a child should be encouraged to swill water inside his or her mouth and spit in order to remove residual food matter from the mouth, to prevent tooth decay or bad breath. Take your child to the dentist every 6 months or so.

Here is how you may want to teach your child to brush:

With a good quality toothbrush, wash the bristles and put a pea size amount of toothpaste. Start with the front teeth and then the molars and inside surfaces of your teeth. The movements should be up and down and side to side. Concentrate on brushing one tooth at a time so that none is missed. Brush your tongue. Rinse properly. Change toothbrush when it looks frayed or once in 2 months. Brush for 90 seconds.

 

Hand wash :

One of the single most important ways to keep a lot of infections at bay is by keeping our hands clean and germ free. Hand washing should be a rule before and after meals, after using the toilet, after playing with pets or any animals or when coming back from an outing. Another alternative where water is not available can be hand sanitizers. A lot of brands are available in the market today. It would help to make hand washing a fun thing for kids.

Here is how to teach your child to wash his or her hands:

While washing, use water and soap or a soap alternative. Cover whole hands and wrists with soap. Use fingers to clean between fingers of both hands. Experts say washing for about 90 seconds would be good to kill germs. Dry your hands on a clean towel.


Nails:

Nails are just as important as hands for hygiene purposes. It is advised that children’s nails are trimmed once every week. It is also important to clean under nails, especially after playing in the dust or mud or with pets.


Bathing :

Bathing at least once on a daily basis is required by children in a tropical summer of India, especially if they are playing outdoors. If they take a bath in the morning, make sure they have a thorough clean up before going to bed. Show them from an early age how to use soap and shampoo. Help them use a clean towel to dry up. Teenagers may need to take bath more often.

 

Hair:

Washing and proper care of hair is required, especially for children with long hair. Washing regularly with shampoo will keep hair clean and dandruff free. You may want to check regularly for lice or lice eggs. In case they are found, use of an anti-lice shampoo helps.


Feet:

Feet can smell bad after wearing closed shoes all day. Toe nails need to be trimmed regularly, feet should be cleaned with soap and water after returning home from outdoors. Teenagers should be more careful because at this age feet may smell more due to sweating. A specialized feet cleaner can be used and good smelling feet cream might help.


Bad breath and body odor:

Two of the worst offenders as far as children of school going age or teenagers are concerned. Good dental hygiene and good bathing hygiene is often enough to deal with both cases but there are some more things one can do. For bad breath use of a mouthwash or home remedies like chewing on cloves or guava leaves (cleaned). Flossing may be necessary. Ensure that bowel movements are regular may help too. For body odor deodorants may be required for post puberty school goers. Using anti perspirant also helps.


Clothes and Shoes:

Clean clothes and shoes are essential for good hygiene. Clothes get sweaty and shoes may smell if remain unwashed or unaired for a long time. Same goes with socks. It is important to air out leather shoes and wash canvas shoes regularly.


Food hygiene:

It is important for health reasons to avoid food contamination. Children should be encouraged should eat food with clean hands. Keeping the cooking area clean may help to maintain the food hygiene. Don’t buy or eat cut veggies or fruits from a street vendor.


Blood and hygiene:

With AIDS being an epidemic in todays world, our children should be aware of how to handle any situation that comes their way. Cuts and bruises are common part of growing up.

Infections can be transferred through blood, so as parents we need to keep them informed and aware of the potential threats. Dry blood is usually safe. If someone is bleeding and needs help here is when you and your child should be careful about touching blood. Wearing gloves or using a plastic wrap is recommended. If concerned please check with a doctor immediately.


Post puberty hygiene:

Parents should make sure post puberty boys and girls know the changes that will happen to their bodies. They need to be made aware of the hormonal changes and what happens to them as a result. They should be encouraged to clean their bodies and their private parts to prevent infection.

The best way to ensure your child is following your designated path of hygiene and cleanliness is to establish a clear routine. This reinforces the habit and also teaches them discipline. Thus the first thing in the morning and last activity before bedtime can be made into a teeth brushing and hand soaping routine.


Always reward good hygienic habits with the same approval you show your child for good behavior. This will encourage them to believe and follow these habits.

 

Image source - www.drpbody.com

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| Apr 04, 2016

useful tips. thanks

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| Jul 27, 2015

Nice and very useful tips.. great job

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| Jul 24, 2015

Great tips to keep children hygiene.. Thanks..

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| Oct 02, 2013

Very useful information !!!

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| Sep 11, 2013

Useful tips and reminders, good job Payal !!

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| Dec 18, 2012

Another great write up Payal. Teaching children the importance of personal hygiene is vital as they play a crucial role in staying healthy for the rest of their lives.

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