It is never too soon to instill healthy habits that will last children for a lifetime. The best way to help children avoid disease and infections is to educate them on good hygiene when they are very young. Parents should serve as role models when teaching children to use the principles of hygiene in everyday life. It is easier for children to understand the importance of proper hygiene when adults lead by example. When parents recognize the value of good hygiene habits such as proper hand washing, they are much more effective in teaching their importance to children.
Proper Hand Washing
Hand washing is one of the most important hygiene habits because children touch almost everything they come in contact with during their day. The simple act of washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of germs that cause illness. They should be taught the proper way to wash in order to eliminate as many germs as possible. Teach them to lather with soap for about 15 seconds before rinsing off with warm water. Make it fun by using a timer to count down the seconds. Provide animal-shaped, scented soaps to encourage washing. Talk about how they are killing germs that make them sick.
Establish a bath or shower routine that is fun and relaxing. Provide bath toys, nice soaps and possibly bubble bath. Teach children how to wash themselves and supervise the daily bath. Use shampoo designed for children and help with hair washing and rinsing. Doing this at the same time every day will help kids get in the habit of this and not want to resist as much.
Coughing, Sneezing and Blowing Habits
Most germs are spread to others through sneezing, coughing and nose blowing. Teach children to blow their noses in a tissue and then dispose of it in the trash. Young children need to be taught how to open their mouth to blow their nose properly. Demonstrate the proper way to cough without spreading germs by coughing into their sleeves or a tissue.
Proper Tooth Care
Teach children the importance of brushing their teeth in the morning when they wake up and before going to bed. Provide special toothbrushes and flavored dental floss to encourage proper dental hygiene. Children under six need parental assistance with brushing and flossing. Discuss why it is important to keep teeth clean. Dentists recommend that children receive early preventive care to ensure proper dental health. Regular, routine dental exams help prevent major dental problems. Seeing a dentist allows you to take care of small problems like cavities before they become a major issue, say the experts at Smith Family Dental.
Teaching your kids good hygiene habits is the best way you can help prevent infection and disease in their children. Learning the basics of correct hygiene and practicing them every day will stay with children their entire lives.