Children learn about their surroundings by touching, sitting, and even rolling around. Throughout this learning process, they might be exposed to bacteria and viruses especially with the current situation that happened in the whole world. Therefore, teaching good personal hygiene habits to children will help them to reduce the risk of illnesses and at the same time create a better self-awareness.
Teaching children how to wash hands, wipe mouth, wash legs, brush teeth are some of the personal hygiene skills. All these skills can be different based on a person's family culture. Some families might brush teeth twice a day and others can be more than that. Therefore, it is important to understand their family culture before we start the training.
How to develop personal hygiene habits in children?
Create opportunities for children to learn good personal hygiene habits by preparing proper tools and space for them to practice.
Develop routines to provide consistent training for children to practice their good personal hygiene habits.
To develop the routines, parents or teachers can prepare visual schedules for the children.
If the child still struggles, analyze the underlying factors that affect him/her to perform the tasks, and provide additional training to improve the skills such as fine motor activities.
Incorporate good personal hygiene habits in play such as role-play with dolls or role-play with peers.
Do modification of tasks or tools if necessary such as place the toothbrush at the child's reachable level or enlarge the toothbrush handle.
Once the child learned the skills, reduce the prompt level to promote independency in personal hygiene.
It is never too early or too late to start the training. As parents or teachers, it is our responsibility to provide opportunities for children to learn and practice good personal hygiene habits in their daily life. Stay clean and stay healthy!