What’s the importance of personal hygiene for kids?
Lifelong good personal hygiene habits start in early childhood, but it is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children that clean equals healthy. Children are not necessarily dirty per se, but their natural exploratory and playful tendencies may indeed be at odds with the most basic precepts of cleanliness. However, the benefits of personal hygiene for kids remain the same through adult life. Those benefits are preservation of health, avoidance of disease, and social acceptance. Children whose parents neglect their personal appearance are often bullied because of how they look and smell. Of course bullying is never justified, but poor hygiene habits should not be tolerated either.
The common thread running through children’s personal hygiene is that parents must provide supervision/assistance at all times, or at least in the beginning, but isn’t that true for each childhood rite? In other words, it’s not enough to tell a child to brush their teeth at least twice daily, or to shower every day, but parents need to make not only that the child complies, but also that they are doing it correctly. Thus, you have to teach them how to brush, how to wipe, &c, before you can expect them to do so by themselves.
There is a stage when children are both physically and mentally able to do these things, but much like Melville’s scrivener, ‘would prefer not to.’ Nonetheless, children may be eased into the habit of cleaning themselves and their various body parts by making the activities entertaining and attractive for them. For example, children may be allowed to play with specifically designed toys when they shower or bathe. Similarly, they may be given flavored toothpaste to brush their teeth; later on they can graduate to Colgate, Sensodyne, Biotene, or Homeofresh (all available at Discount Medical Supplies) just like mommy and daddy.
Personal hygiene for kids is also a matter of decorum, such as not picking their ears and noses either in public or private. Furthermore, children should be taught to cough and sneeze into disposable tissues, and failing that, into the sleeve/shoulder of their shirts/blouses. Ear and nose cleansing is better left to the parents’ better judgment, and even then they should make sure to follow a safe procedure when doing so. Parents should also pay attention to areas that children are likely to forget about, such as the feet. Fortunately, DMS offers quite a few foot odor and hygiene products.