Something most children don’t need to learn is how to get dirty. When this happens, it’s an opportune time to teach them about hygiene – healthy living. Whether you are bathing your child, washing his/her hands or preparing food, explain the importance of what you are doing and why and if you can make it a game or a fun experience or special time with you the learning may be reinforced.
Some areas of hygiene to teach your child about include:
Handwashing is a very important basic skill for us all to master. Your child needs to know when it’s important to do – eg. before preparing or eating food; after playing outside or with animals; if you have a cold and are coughing or sneezing; after using the toilet; why it is important and how to do it.
Bathing to have a clean body free of odour is important. Different cultures may have different routines for this but especially in summer in Australia, regular bathing is the norm. It’s also important after your child has been in the sea or a pool to wash the salt or chemicals from your child’s skin. Most children enjoy bath time and it can also be a good relaxant at the end of the day. As with everything, you need to teach your child how to care for their body not just let them have a soak and a play in the bath or shower.
Once your child’s teeth have come through, it’s time to show them how to care for them and an occasional visit to the dentist in the early years may help.
Cleanliness around eating and food preparation is very important and this is a good opportunity if your child is helping you cook, to go together first and wash your hands.
Encourage your child to put dirty clothes in the laundry area and explain how smelly socks and other clothing may not be appealing to themselves or to other people.
Hair care is important too, especially when head lice come home.
Teaching your child that some tap water may not be suitable for drinking is an important lesson, especially if you are travelling or camping.
Teaching your child about germ etiquette: How to deal with coughs or sneezes or a runny nose, is all part of their personal hygiene learning.
The following link offers some fun ways to teach some of the aspects of personal hygiene: Games to Teach Kids About Personal Hygiene
These days as well as books or TV programs to help, there are apps and video games which may help instill clean, healthy habits.
All of our staff at Angel’s Paradise are trained in hygiene procedures and reinforce healthy habits.