Teaching little ones about hygiene is a tricky yet important job. Proper and good sense of hygiene comes with practice and the best way is to start as early as possible. Children love routine; hence a consistent and clockwork routine of healthy practices should be made a part of their daily schedule.
What needs to be covered under hygiene?
Washing of feet and hands: Kids must be put into the habit of washing their hands and feet each time they come home from outside to get rid of the grime and dust.
Potty-hygiene: Once the kids are potty trained, they need to understand and follow the hygiene ritual of cleaning up and washing the hands with soap and water. Showing them repeatedly how to do it and then supervising them until they get habituated is vital.
Brushing of teeth: Doctors advise cleaning of the gums from infancy and the use of soft bristled toothbrush as soon as the child begins teething for good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day must be made compulsory and as the child gets older, the technique of correct brushing needs to be taught.
Child brushing his teeth
Personal hygiene: Children should be discouraged to share their water bottles, napkins or towels with anyone else. Covering mouth while sneezing and discouraging touching the mouth or nose are other good practices that need to be inculcated early on.
How to make the above activities fun and a no-struggle one?
Take the help of story books: story books that teach good habits as a moral of the story are a good way to get the child interested and used to the concept.
Sing a song: Have a favourite song for each activity and sing them together your child to make it a happy and fun moment rather than a drab chore to get over with.
Award points: Rewarding every good behavior would reinforce it further. So, make sure you make appreciate the child each time he or she does a job well or does it without a struggle. Awarding reward points like a star also helps.
And last and not the least,
Be a role model yourself: Children learn faster with observation, so make sure you practice the above yourself.
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