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Tips To Teach Kids Personal Hygiene

Teaching personal hygiene to kids isn’t difficult. The key is to start teaching them when they are young. Now, where’s the hand sanitiser?

Kids are dirt loving, germ sharing little critters. Those germs are then brought into the home and quickly spread to the kitchen bench and ultimately everywhere else. Germs aren’t all bad though, they build up your immune system but only when in moderation. By making a conscious effort to teach kids personal hygiene from a young age will help minimises the transmission of germs.

toddler washing her hands

Personal Hygiene for Kids

In just a few simple steps you can teach kids personal hygiene.

1. Teach kids about germs

This may seem obvious but if your child doesn’t know what germs are and why they bad they won’t understand the importance of having to be clean. You can explain in as much or little detail as you like. You can simply tell them that even though we cannot see them, germs are bad and can make you and others sick. Or if your child is older you can explain it in much more detail about bacteria and how they evolve to make someone ill.

2. Wash your hands

Show children how to wash their hands properly. Scrub the palms, backs, in between the fingers and nails. With toddlers, it is a great idea to sing a song like ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ so they wash for 20-30 seconds.

3. When to wash

What may seem like common sense to us is something new to new to them. Toddlers and young children need to be reminded when and why they have to wash their hands. Often a sign in the bathroom or kitchen with pictures or basic words is a great prompt for kids to wash their hands and face. The most common times to wash are:

  • Before and after eating
  • After using the toilet (check out these toilet training tips for boys)
  • Before and after helping prepare food
  • After coughing and sneezing
  • After playing outside in the dirt

4. Minimise the spread of illness

It isn’t natural instinct for children to know that they have to cover their mouth when they cough and to sneeze into a tissue. Parents need to remind them and show them until it becomes second nature. Sneeze Safe is a great way to educate them about coughs, colds and flu. It shares the 3 key steps to reducing the spread of illness:

  • Catch It – Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Bin It – Throw the tissue away afterwards
  • Kill It – Wash your hands

5. Wash, Brush, Scrub

  • Wash their bodies from head to toe in the shower or bath.
  • Brush their teeth. Start this from a young age to get them into the habit of doing it. You will still have to do the final run over to ensure they are clean but kids need practise to learn.
  • Scrub their hands.

There are countless ways to minimise the spread of germs around the home and while personal hygiene is a big one, keeping the germ hotspots around the house clean is just as important to reduce the risk of illness.

What tips do you have for teaching kids personal hygiene?


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7 Comments

  1. 03/09/2018 / 8:24 am

    Sharing is not caring with germs. It was my grandkids who showed me to cough into your elbow/sleeve. Great post Kel! Denyse x

  2. 03/09/2018 / 12:17 pm

    I’m really trying to encourage my boy to use the soap himself and rinse off but some days he takes SO LONG that I worry about the water being wasted! I want him to be independent but the water worry is there too.

  3. 03/09/2018 / 4:03 pm

    Thanks for all these helpful tips – personal hygiene is so important with all the germs and bugs about!

  4. trixi
    03/09/2018 / 5:01 pm

    Teaching kids about hygiene from a young age is the best way for it to become second nature to them.

  5. 06/09/2018 / 12:18 pm

    Wash, brush, scrub. My new parenting mantra!! Great tips.

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