Teaching your child about health and hygiene can be challenging. Chances are he or she would rather spend their time playing outside or watching cartoons, not learning about the importance of washing hands or brushing teeth. Here are some of our tips to ensure your child practices proper hygiene starting at a young age:
Tip #1: Explain Germs and Bacteria
Children are inquisitive so use this to your advantage. Talk to your children about germs and how they spread. Explain to them why it’s important to wash properly and take care of themselves. If you don’t know where to start or are stumped for ideas try your local bookstore. There are plenty of books available that will help explain how children can keep germs at bay.
Tip #2: Back to Basics
Hand washing is one of the most basic forms of hygiene. Teach your child to wash their hands several times a day (after using the bathroom, before and after eating, etc.) Show them how to use warm water and soap for 30 seconds. Instead of counting, have your child sing Happy Birthday (once is good, but twice is better!). These days, soaps come in all shapes, sizes, and smells. At the store, let your child pick out their own soap. That way they have something to look forward to every time they wash their hands.
Tip #3: Lead by Example
Kids tend to mimic the actions of those around them. Instill good hygienic practices in your own life and practice these routines in front of your child. Brush your teeth and your hair when your child is nearby. Wash your hands before dinner and remind yourself out loud before you head to the sink. Don’t forget to ask your child to join you! Make the activities something you do together. The more you practice good hygiene, the more likely your child will follow suit.
Tip #4: Make Hygiene Fun!
Don’t make hygiene a chore. By making hygienic practices something kids want to do not something they have to do, they will be more apt to take the practices into adulthood so make these tasks fun! How about dancing while brushing your teeth or seeing who can brush their hair the fastest? Bath toys are a simple way to make bath time a fun time. Making hygiene entertaining will make your kids more excited and cooperative.
Teaching your child about germs and hygiene will help keep them happy and healthy. However, no matter how many times they wash their hands, children are bound to get sick. That’s where we come in. The Winter Springs pediatricians at Family First Pediatrics specialize in caring for children. Call (407) 355-4760 or click here to book an appointment with us today!
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