In North America, young children have an average of two diarrhea episodes each year. Many of these are acute diarrhea cases caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
Those infections, in turn, can sometimes be due to poor personal hygiene. That’s especially true for kids who have the habit of putting their hands in their mouths.
That’s enough reason to teach your children good hygiene habits as early as possible. The sooner you instill these practices in your kids, the lower their odds of getting sick. Moreover, the earlier they get used to such habits, the likelier they will carry them to adulthood.
To that end, we created this guide on the top ways to teach your kids proper personal hygiene. Read on to discover the dos and don’ts of educating them on this topic.
- Teach Them About Germs Without Scaring Them
A great way to instill good personal hygiene in your kids is to talk about the benefits of such practices. For instance, you can tell them about all the fun things they can do as a result of being clean and hygienic. That may be a better way to educate them instead of scaring them about the dangers of poor hygiene.
For instance, rather than tell them that diarrhea is painful, why not tell them how fun it is to swim if they don’t have it? Another example is to teach them how personal hygiene helps them stay healthy and strong. You can follow this up by telling them that being healthy lets them have fun playing with their friends.
That way, your kids have something to look forward to instead of being afraid.
Just so you know, germaphobia, the extreme fear of germs, can start as early as childhood. From there, some children can carry the phobia all the way to adulthood. Just like other phobias, germaphobia can also result in significant anxiety.
- Practice What You Preach
Research has long since confirmed that children mimic or even over imitate what they see. For this reason, you don’t want them to catch you having poor personal hygiene. Otherwise, they may think it’s okay not to brush their teeth or go to bed in the same clothes they wore all day.
On the contrary, you need to be a good role model if you want your kids to practice good personal hygiene. So, no matter how tired you are, show them that it’s necessary to go to bed clean and fresh.
- Do It With Them
According to experts, people usually remember 20% of what they’ve heard and 30% of what they’ve seen. However, this goes up to 50% for stuff they’ve heard and seen at the same time.
That’s why teachers use visual aids to enhance learning in classrooms.
For the same reason, you don’t want to simply tell your kids how to wash their hands or brush their teeth. Instead, it’s best to show them the actual steps of how to perform these activities.
- Gently Remind Your Kids
Did you know that repeating something aloud to another person can help boost memory? So, why not use that to your advantage as you teach your children personal hygiene? In doing so, you won’t forget such practices yourself.
A good example is to remind your kids to wash their hands as soon as they get back from school. Another is just before eating; you can wait for them so that you guys can wash your hands together. Then, before bed, ask if they want to brush their teeth with you.
- Make Practicing Personal Hygiene a Family Activity
Whenever you whip something up in the kitchen, it’s a good idea to ask your little ones to join you. You can use this as an opportunity to teach them to clean themselves and their surroundings. Best of all, it’s a fun learning experience that can help instill the practices in them.
For instance, before you start baking or cooking with the kids, wash your hands together. This is also a great time to teach them the importance of keeping the house clean and organized. Then, once it’s time to eat, you can head over to the sink to wash your hands so that they’ll do the same.
- Make Hand Washing Easy and Techy
According to https://www.qbicwashrooms.co.uk/soap-dispensers, bar soaps get dirty too. After all, you need to handle them directly, so dirt and germs from your hands transfer to the soap.
By contrast, dispensers release the liquid soap straight to the user’s hands. That makes them easy to use, as you only have to push a handle for the liquid soap to come out.
If you go for automatic dispensers, though, they can be like “magic” to your kids. After all, these automated devices release soap as soon as you place your hands below it. They do this with the help of sensors that detect heat from the hands.
Also, since liquid soap dispensers are bigger than bar soaps, they can be a great reminder to wash your hands. Just make sure you place them in areas and at heights that your kids can reach.
You may also want to invest in sanitizer dispensers and place them by your front door. This way, everyone at home can sanitize their hands as soon as they get back home.
Follow These Fun Tips to Teach Your Kids Good Personal Hygiene
As you can see, there are many ways to teach kids how to practice good personal hygiene without scaring them. It all starts by telling your little ones how such practices benefit them. From there, make sure you set an example by being a good role model yourself.
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