“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”
We all have heard this quote from our childhood and let us take the legacy further by teaching our children the same. Cleanliness can be imbibed in children right from the beginning, I bet you, it is not difficult at all!
Cleanliness is one of the basic etiquettes for well-being. Let us start with basic cleanliness which is simple and effective for sound health routine among children.
This is something very basic because most of the germs spread from hands. Children should be taught washing hands with soap right from 2 years by themselves. For below 2 years make sure you clean their little hands yourself from time to time.
Teach children to wash hands every time before and after meals, after using the washroom, after touching pets, after sneezing and coughing, and also after coming from outside (school or even from park/playing outdoor).
2. Bathing Hygiene
Encouraging children to maintain full body hygiene by bathing regularly. Morning baths or a shower before going to bed is also relaxing.
For toddlers, you can make it little fun, so that bathing doesn’t make them cry or they don’t find it a huge thing. I have been keeping my toddler in the bathtub for a while since she was 1 year old – before and after giving her bath so that she can have fun with small water toys (Duck toys the common ones etc). This made her a water lover; she enjoys water activities including supervised swimming fun.
Note: Never leave your toddlers alone in the Bathroom or tubs -Never I repeat. You are not going to miss a flight, stand there while they are having fun
3. Nail Hygiene.
Keeping their hand as well as toe-nails short and trimmed always. While washing hands make sure they wash the undersides properly so that dirt does not get accumulated.
4. Dental Hygiene
Cleaning teeth is very important and a parent can start right from the stage they see the first tooth in an infant. This is what my Paediatric dentist told me in a routine dental check-up of my girl. You can give a sip of water to infants (6 months actually) after feeds and especially after putting them to bed. Brushing can be introduced later some around 18 months.
Make sure you use proper toothpaste recommended by a Paediatric dentist and not more than grain-sized. Slowly brushing before and after bed should be a routine for your children. Apart from that it, teach them to wash their mouth thoroughly with water after having meals or Sweets, etc. Supervise your kids until they can do it themselves.
5. Hair Hygiene
Keeping hair clean and free from dandruff etc make sure you shampoo wash your kids’ hair at least thrice a week. Once they are grown enough teach them well how to shampoo and rinse it well.
Teach your children to avoid sharing combs, and hair accessories, to maintain hygiene. Encourage your Girl child to tie hair if its long so that can be prevented from dirt for normal days.
Well, all of the above hygiene tips are something very natural and most of our children are amazingly doing it well. Yet there is always something where children feel like not doing and throw tantrums.
For me, my daughter is well trained with all above- mentioned hygiene but at times when it comes to trimming nails, she keeps me on toes by throwing tantrums, saying it will hurt her. Every time I have to make a story to get it done, today I trimmed mine along one by one to get the task done!
Set An Example
No matter how much you teach your kids, it’s all in vain if you are not setting an example for them. Kids follow what you show and not what you say.
Not only while building a hygienic habit in your kids but for any good habit that you want your kids to adopt, try it inbuilt that in your life first.
Teaching and making children learn anything requires little patience and a pinch of melodrama. You can do it for sure, after all, parents are versatile! Ain’t we?