A hygienic start: Teach your kids the basics of personal hygiene  

Poor personal hygiene makes your children vulnerable to infection. You can keep your kid away from bacteria causing disease by teaching them personal hygiene habits. It’s quite rewarding if your children already practice good hygiene. If not, now is a right time to teach them

A hygienic start: Teach your kids the basics of personal hygiene

Children are remarkably good at getting soiled and messy, either while playing in the muck, or by using their sauce-smeared dirty hands to scratch themselves or wipe their nose without a tissue. Childhood is the perfect time for you to start training your kid about healthy hygiene regimes.

Teaching good hygienic habits is much more than just hand-washing. Once your kid’s master the techniques of good sanitation during childhood, these habits are sure to last them all through their lives.

Parents, guardians and peer can impact the child’s approach to hygiene in a big way. Moreover educating your child about the importance of maintaining personal hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of diseases.

Below mentioned is a head-to-toe guide offering parents tips on encouraging children to take care of their bodies by maintaining hygienic.

A hygienic start: Teach your kids the basics of personal hygiene
Dr Chaitali Laddad

Washing hands properly

With the on-set of the cold and flu season, the best way to keep your child healthy is by teaching them the right way to their clean hands. Explain to them that germs and dirt get accumulated in our palms and if not washed properly can make them sick.

Make them understand the importance of proper washing to get rid of the germs. Parents need to properly demonstrate the procedures of proper handwashing to their children. Turn on the water for them, properly wet their hands, pump in some soap and properly scrub their hands till the formation of lather. Most germs are stuck in between the fingers, so a key to proper handwashing is to properly clean the gaps between your fingers.

They can also use liquid sanitisers to keep their hands clean. Always appreciate your child’s effort; this will motivate him to stick to his or her hygienic goals.


Parents should make the bathing session a fun way for kid’s to cleanse themselves and get rid of germs. Ensure they scrub their tummy, hands, legs and genitals with a good antiseptic soap.

Teaching children proper coughing and sneezing etiquette’s

Cough and sneeze are greatly responsible for spreading germs and bacteria. Showing and telling is the best strategy for teaching these skills to your child.

Teach them to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue or handkerchief each time they sneeze or cough. Show them how to clean their runny nose so they don’t soil their hands. Train them to cough into their sleeves and elbow. The appropriate way to blow the nose is by pressing one nostril closed while exhaling through the other.

Tooth brushing skills

If you ever see your child reaching out to his or her toothbrush don’t pull it away. Let him try it out. Dental hygiene also forms an important part of the overall sanitisation and cleanliness of the child.

Making your child comfortable with the appropriate way of brushing can surely make him a pro at this at an early stage.

Explain to him each step starting from wetting the tooth brush, pressing a thin smudge of toothpaste on to it and then properly cleaning his teeth and tongue. End the session by teaching him to rinse and spit his mouth thoroughly.

Keeping nails clean

Parents should discourage nail biting especially if the child is swallowing nails. Nails are a perfect breeding environment for dust particles and germs. When a child bites his or her nails, there is a direct transmission of germs into the child’s mouth and later into the digestive system, causing severe health problems.

Maintaining food hygiene

It is mandatory for children to wash their hands before meals. Restrain your child from eating anything that’s fallen on the floor. Cleanliness should also be maintained while cooking and serving the food. Ensure you wash your hands properly before feeding your child. Using a spoon to feed them will reduce the amount of bacteria’s from passing into the child’s mouth.

Correct toilet training

Kids should be toilet trained to wash their genitals after defecating. Train them to wash their hands thoroughly with soap once they are done. These healthy habits will help curtail irritation and keep infections at bay.

The author is the founder and director of The Paediatric Network