Fact – kids will get sick more often than adults. It’s just part of being a kid and dealing with a developing immune system. They live and play in an environment that is full of germs and exposure to other kids who are also busy at work building their immunity to illnesses. To make things more challenging, children aren’t the best when it comes to personal hygiene and cleanliness. They’re still trying to figure that part out.
Parents, therefore, play a very important role when it come to teaching their children how to take care of themselves and keep themselves clean. Teaching personal hygiene isn’t always easy. Kids need to be taught and reminded again and again before habits form. Here are some tips that we hope will help:
Be a Good Example Children tend to watch us more than we even realize. They pick up on the smallest details whether we want them to or not. This can definitely be a good thing when it comes to hygiene if you, as a parent, are focused on good hygiene habits yourself. Make sure your kids see you washing your hands frequently and brushing your teeth. They will follow your example.
Make Cleanliness Fun Kids respond better when we try to keep it fun. This might include dancing while they brush their teeth or playing with toys in the bath. Soaps and shampoos with their favorite cartoon characters displayed can definitely be a hit. Try using foaming hand soaps and bubble bath products. Anything you can do to make staying clean a fun activity will help.
Talk to Your Kids About Hygiene You don’t have to lecture your kids, but having conversations about things like germs and illnesses and how to avoid them can definitely have an impact. Remember that your kids are still in learning mode when it comes to life. We can’t wait around for someone else to teach them about hygiene. Take the time to discuss the importance of staying clean so your kids know it’s important to you.
It’s All About Routines Most parents have experience with how effective routines can be. Kids love routines. Make sure that brushing teeth happens at the same time both morning and night. Encourage washing hands before each meal. Leave them reminder notes or reward them with small prizes. When you can incorporate hygiene into a routine for your children, everyone wins.
Don’t Ignore Puberty Puberty can be just as awkward for parents as it is for kids. The good news is, this is the age when kids begin to gain a better appreciation of why hygiene is important. But they still need your input about things like using deodorant, good bathing habits, and even using razors the right way. Working with your kids as they go through these changes is important and can have a lasting effect.
Paying attention to your kids and their personal hygiene is a great way to monitor the health of your child as well. You’ll be able to pick up on signs of illness or infection and get them the help they need. AllKids Urgent Care is always available to answer questions or concerns.