By Dipali Mathur Dayal
Eat green leafy vegetables, sleep for eight hours each night and go outdoors for some physical activity every day – these are just some of the instructions we give kids. However, what parents often forget to tell them is that overall health does not just comprise of eating well, sleeping on time and exercising. Personal hygiene is also a major part of being healthy. Maintaining good hygiene can prevent a lot of illnesses and keep kids fit and active throughout the day. It is important, therefore, to speak to kids about good hygiene practices right from the age of 10 or 11.
What does personal hygiene entail?
Personal hygiene consists of a lot of good habits that can be inculcated since the early years. Some of the important considerations include:
Kids must be encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day and floss regularly. Along with teaching them the right brushing technique, parents must also assert the dietary influences on oral health. While this is the age to enjoy food it is equally important for them to know that excessive sweets, fizzy drinks, and junk food can cause cavities and other dental issues.
Who doesn’t know the perils of dirty hands? Germs can enter our system through dirty hands, thus children must be encouraged to wash their hands before and after each meal, after playtime, after using the toilet, etc. Infections spread easily in smaller children, and proper hand-washing can go a long way in preventing instances of illness.
Bath-time is something a lot of kids try to avoid. However, regular bathing is crucial for kids to remain free of germs while looking and feeling fresh, day after day. Make bath time more fun by adding shower gels, soaps and shampoos of their choice.
Apart from bathing every day, teenagers should also be introduced to toxin-free deodorants with natural ingredients that can help them smell and feel fresh even after being active all day.
Teenagers also need their parents to demonstrate and introduce the use of razors, sanitary care products, lip care, skincare, etc. They must also be encouraged to wash their face twice a day to avoid clogged pores and acne.
How to encourage good hygiene?
There is nothing better than leading by example. Parents must set personal hygiene rules and goals for the entire family. Setting a routine is also a great way to develop good hygiene habits. If kids bathe, brush their teeth or wash their hands at the same time every day, the habit will form and stick with them throughout their lives.
Healthy habits, especially when it comes to hygiene, can and must be formed at an early age. Hygiene-conscious kids grow up to become healthy and happy individuals!
(The author is Co-Founder, Super Smelly.)
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