Healthy Hygiene Habits for Kids
It’s pretty much a fact that kids always find a way to get messy. Whether with food, crafts, or outdoors, there’s always a mess for kids to get in. We all know the importance of proper hygiene for the health and wellbeing of yourself and others around you, so starting healthy hygiene habits for kids at an early age is essential. It doesn’t need to be complicated, though. Here are simple and foundational hygiene habits for kids that you can teach at home and school.
Proper handwashing is one of the most vital healthy hygiene habits kids need to learn. The CDC recommends that everyone, including children, wash their hands after using the bathroom, before eating, after coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose, throwing trash away, and touching animals. It’s also wise for kids to wash their hands after playing outside.
When teaching children how to wash their hands, breaking it down into simple and concise steps is wise. You should also make it fun! The proper handwashing method includes wetting your hands, applying soap, scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds, rinsing hands, and drying hands. You can sing a song while washing hands like “Happy Birthday” or create your own handwashing song! If it’s difficult for young children to reach the sink, consider a footstool or a child-height portable sink.
Dentists recommend that children brush their teeth in the morning and night for 1-2 minutes and floss daily. Usually, kids won’t be brushing or flossing their teeth in childcare or school settings, but it’s still a habit you can reinforce outside the home by having positive discussions around dental hygiene. Kids should also know why brushing teeth is so important.
Proper nail care includes scrubbing underneath fingernails and trimming fingernails and toenails as needed. A great time to teach and encourage healthy nail care is when kids wash their hands at the sink. Adults can model how to scrub under nails and the before and after results. When kids are getting messy in a craft or outside, there are lots of opportunities for a deep scrub.
Shower or Bath
It’s recommended that children shower or bathe once a day, preferably at night before bed. Kids build up all the germs and dirt from the day, so it’s wise to shower or take a bath at the end of the day. Kids will often need their parents to help with a shower or bath until they are around 6-8 years old. Just like with handwashing, parents should teach their kids the proper method for bathing their entire body and hair.
All children should practice the hygiene habit of brushing their hair each day. Kids with longer hair who struggle with hair brushing may benefit from a detangler after bathing or in the morning. However, children shouldn’t share hairbrushes with each other. In addition, adults should encourage children that grooming or brushing their hair is more than just for appearance.
Cover Mouth When Cough or Sneeze
Children from a young age can learn to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing. Teach them to cover their mouth with a tissue or their elbow if a tissue isn’t available. It is not safe or sanitary to cough or sneeze into your hands. Children should wash their hands after sneezing or coughing regardless of what they use. It is more effective to wash hands with warm soapy water than using hand sanitizer. Children should have immediate access to a traditional or portable sink for proper handwashing to prevent spreading germs after coughing and sneezing.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
The only way for kids to get used to a healthy hygiene routine is to practice it consistently every day. Of course, children should practice all of these habits at home with their parents. However, children have many opportunities to practice proper handwashing habits while at school or daycare. If there aren’t many traditional sinks available, consider a portable sink. There are child-height portable sinks designed for daycare and schools that make handwashing more accessible and convenient. Portable sinks are a tangible way to help kids at school or daycare practice the hygiene habit of handwashing, and these sinks are convenient for teachers and staff to maintain.
All Portable Sinks is your solution for convenient and quality portable handwashing stations. Our portable sinks help you promote a safe and clean environment in your school, daycare, or preschool. All kids need to learn healthy hygiene habits they will use for the rest of their lives. In addition, there are opportunities to promote hygiene habits when children are away from home through proper handwashing. To find out more about our portable sinks for children, contact us or view our diverse inventory.