Surely, we are all aware of the importance of proper hygiene since there is a high likelihood that we have been taught all the important rules regarding maintaining it throughout our lives, especially during our childhood.
The main reasons behind your parents teaching you how to take good care of your personal hygiene are staying free from all potential illnesses and being socially aware of the incredible importance of this aspect of life, keeping others and yourself free from harm.
Hygiene at a Young Age is Very Important
Children need to stay healthy and clean. Therefore, teaching them proper hygiene is a must and this process should start from the earliest days possible. Namely, grade-schoolers need to already be aware of the processes of maintaining adequate levels of personal hygiene, especially keeping their hands clean and regularly washed. They spend a lot of time with other children, sharing the same classroom and many items which are found in their educational facility. During this time, it is important to stay clean and safe from illnesses.
Later on, when your child reaches the adolescent age, his/her body undergoes serious changes, manifesting through an increased skin oil production and a stronger body smell, all being factors which need to be taken care of through regular bathing and a high level of personal hygiene.
Therefore, your child can benefit greatly if he/she learns all about personal hygiene habits while still in the kindergarten, practicing the same habits throughout his/her life, appreciating the value of health and absence of germs in his/her everyday existence.
Hygiene and Allergies
In a study carried out by Strachan in 1989, a very important observation took place. Basically, it was discovered that the larger a family is, the less susceptible to allergies the children are. Thus, a conclusion came out of this that children need to get in contact with other children and their own siblings in order to expose themselves to germs and become more resistant to them later on. In fact, it was found that people who did not indulge in this exposure were exceptionally prone to developing atopic disorders, especially in the last 30 or 40 years.
Taking into consideration the fact that today we tend to form smaller families, but we pay much more attention to our personal hygiene, Strachan concluded that we have managed to evade this theory to quite an extent.
Therefore, do not overprotect your child from the dirty world around him/her. On the other hand, do not push him/her into the exposure to much. Rather, stay aware of all the hygienic norms and practice these regularly. If you do this, your child will be safe wherever he/she goes and whatever he/she does. Yet, keep in mind that running away from bacteria is not as good as exposing yourself to them and then destroying them. This exposure is very important for the proper development of one's strong immune system.
Steps for Teaching Your Child the Importance of Hygiene
Washing your hands regularly is the most important aspect of hygiene. Thus, make sure your child learns this from the earliest days, especially once he/she comes back from school, from playing outside or before he/she sits at the dining table. Make sure your child washes his/her hands properly, without just rinsing them through and running on. Rather, he/she should use soap, wash the hand diligently under warm water, drying them completely using a clean towel afterwards. In fact, 15 seconds of exposure to soap is crucial. During this time, your child can turn the tap off, saving resources.
Next, during sneezing or coughing, teach your child to cover his/her mouth and nose with a tissue. In case he/she cannot prepare the tissue fast enough, tell him/her to use his arm instead. Of course, picking one's nose or touching the eyes, mouth or face should be forbidden.
Moving on to dental hygiene, this aspect of hygiene is equally important as all of the above mentioned. Simply, teach your child how to create a habit for flossing and regular toothbrushing. The same consistency and frequency should be a rule for bathing too. Children should bathe before bedtime since this habit will improve their sleeping and relax them. Keep in mind that showering saves up water, so teach your child to take advantage of this form of bathing as well.
Finally, if your child does not want to practice certain parts of personal hygiene, make sure you get him/her motivated to do so through choosing hygiene products he/she will like. There are many hygiene and cosmetic products which have interesting flavors, fragrances and colors, made for children predominantly. So, for example, if your child finds the taste of toothpaste disgusting, opt for one with fruit flavors, making him/her change his/her mind.
All in all, practicing a proper personal hygiene is a must, both for you and especially for your child. There are many rules and norms for managing this. However, washing your hands, bathing and brushing your teeth regularly are the most crucial ones.
Bear this in mind and teach your children this important life lesson which will keep them healthy and happy even when they become parents themselves, passing the golden rules of hygiene onto their own children one day.