No matter your child’s age, maintaining good personal hygiene is essential for overall health and preventing the spread of illness.

Kids need to be taught important habits such as when to wash hands and bathing techniques. By getting your child into a routine, you can develop these important skills early.

Bath Time Cleaning Routine

With school starting, it is important to get children into a bathing routine to add consistency to their day. When bathing, you should show your child how to do the following:

  • Wash their face
  • Wash their hair
  • Wash their armpits
  • Clean under nails and clip fingernails and toenails
  • Clean genital area and bottom

When Your Child Should Wash Their Hands

You can prevent illness such as the flu and common colds by reminding your child to wash their hands throughout the day. Your child should always wash their hands in the following situations:

  • Before every meal and snack
  • After playing with a pet
  • After playing outside
  • After using the bathroom
  • After sneezing and blowing their nose

Tips for Proper Hair Care

You should teach your child to wash their hair daily. Daily brushing gets rid of dead hair and skin cells and keeps your child’s locks tangle free. Hair should be trimmed regularly, especially girls with long hair. You should discourage your child to share hair accessories and hats to prevent getting head lice. Head lice is spread from person-to-person so teaching these habits is key with elementary age students.

Preventing Body Odor

To keep feet odor free, your child should always wear cotton socks with closed toe shoes. You should allow shoes to dry out when wet to prevent odor. You can also buy removeable insoles that can be washed. Socks should be changed daily to prevent odor.

Clothes can be a likely culprit for body odor. During hot weather, clothes can get smelly. You should make sure your child changes their clothes everyday, especially underwear.

Changes During Puberty for Older Children

As children reach puberty, their hygiene needs change. Your child should shower everyday to prevent body odor. You should also introduce antiperspirant to your teen and encourage daily use. At age 10 or so, children should start washing their face twice a day. At that age, most children don’t suffer from acne but forming this habit early is beneficial. If you notice your child starting to grow body hair, take the opportunity to explain razor use and products. By explaining these topics with your child, your teen will feel more confident.

For more information on hygiene and other tips visit:

http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/social/hygiene-basics-for-kids/?page=1
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/teen-hygiene?page=2

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.