5 Hygiene Habits Your Kids Need to Develop Early

  1. Mother and child

Kids need to learn good hygiene practices at an early age. With the proper training, you will be able to ensure that your children have an effective hygiene routine to hold onto as they get older.

Regardless of how young your child is, they are always learning. The youngest children are very impressionable and should start developing good hygiene habits as soon as possible. Read on to review some of the five healthy habits you should be teaching your child.

1. Washing Their Hands

It’s no secret that germs are easily spread by our hands. This is why it is so important that young children get into the habit of frequent handwashing as soon as possible. By washing their hands regularly, young children will be much less likely to get sick and will be able to prevent the spreading of germs (ref).

Encourage hand washing by having a step stool in the bathroom. Make washing their hands an exciting experience by having an animal-shaped pump soap dispenser that they can enjoy every time they wash their hands.

2. Coughing or Sneezing Politely

Coughing and sneezing in a polite manner both work to prevent the spread of germs. Children must learn that when someone coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth, they are allowing germs to spread in the air. Instead of coughing or sneezing openly or into their hands, children should get used to using tissues.

3. Practicing Proper Dental Hygiene

While children that are under the age of six are still developing the motor skills required for teeth brushing, they’re never too young to learn how important it is to practice proper dental hygiene. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a ‘dental home’ for your child by the time they are 1 year old (ref). Start by teaching the art of teeth-brushing by demonstrating through brushing your own teeth each morning and night and take them to the dentist consistently.  

Be sure your child knows how important taking care of the teeth is. Explain the benefits that good dental hygiene has for their teeth and overall health, in addition to helping their smile look its best.

4. Saying “No” to Nose Picking

Nose picking is a bad habit that your child can pick up anywhere. In addition to nose picking being unappealing, it can also spread germs easily. Try to encourage your child to keep their fingers below their shoulders to ensure that their hands stay away from their nose.

5. Wiping Well in the Bathroom

As your child starts to grow accustomed to their bathroom routine, it is essential that you stress the importance of wiping well in the bathroom. Girls must wipe starting at the front and go to the back. Both boys and girls should wipe with toilet paper until it comes out clean (ref).

As children learn the ins and outs of growing up, make sure these hygiene habits come first. By stressing these five important habits, you’ll ensure that they are well on their way to becoming responsible future adults.

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