What is Personal Hygiene – It is the act of keeping oneself clean and thereby contributing to keeping ourselves healthy. Personal Hygiene is very crucial for everyone, as it plays a pivotal role in keeping us healthy and making us stay away from diseases and infection. Personal Hygiene is not just limited to keeping our hands cleans, it is keeping our entire body clean.
Children are free-spirited beings. They do not yet know what is healthy for them and what is not. They get in touch with dirt, mud etc. and are not very particular about grabbing the food only after their hands are cleaned. As kids grow up and step into teenage years, they themselves are attracted to maintaining a better personal hygiene for themselves, however, kids should be taught to inculcate personal hygiene from very early on, even before they begin school.
Personal Hygiene habits should be ingrained in your child as a ritual. And this would take time, effort and patience. Let your kids know the importance of personal hygiene, and re-iterate the same time and again.
5 ways to inculcate Personal Hygiene Habits in Kids:
1. Start with the basics
Start introducing the various personal hygiene habits to your kids – one at a time. You can begin with focusing on them “keeping their hands clean”. Teach them the practice of washing hands with soap and water – before and after meals, after using the toilet, after coming back from school, after coming from the playground, etc.
Step by step, start introducing them to the other hygiene rituals –oral hygiene, bathing hygiene, hair hygiene, nail hygiene, coughing and sneezing hygiene, home hygiene, and so on.
Your child is learning. Ensure you are very patient through this learning cycle.
2. Make teaching Personal Hygiene Fun
For kids, these personal hygiene habits are a chore and an added hassle. How do you get them kicked about adopting these personal hygiene habits? Make it fun for them.
You can get toothbrushes representing their favorite cartoon characters, soaps that are full of colors, a bathing ritual that looks more like playing in a giant tub, hand hygiene which is more about singing jingles, and so on.
3. Make them understand the importance of Personal Hygiene
Kids need to understand the importance of maintaining personal hygiene so that they make these habits a part of their daily lives. Talk to them about personal hygiene time and over again. Let the bedtime stories stress on personal hygiene – how their favorite character was a fan of washing hands as it kept germs away, how the adventure loving girl from the story loved taking a bath daily and so on. Get creative with making Personal hygiene fun!
4. Set a Routine
Children adhere to routines. Incorporate personal hygiene habits as a part of their daily routines. And you will see these habits sticking with your kids throughout their lives.
5. Lead by example
Children learn more by observing. Ensure you and your entire family practices all the personal hygiene habits that you are teaching your children.
Lay down the foundation of a healthy life for your child right from the beginning by inculcating personal hygiene habits in your kids from very early on.