Hygiene Basics for Kids

A clean kid is a healthier kid, which is why you need to teach your child the basics of proper hygiene.

Clean Means Healthy

Kids call them cooties, but you know them as germs, and they're all around us. They're floating freely through the air and have taken up residence on your child's favorite toys. They're on the video game console, they're waiting for you on the bathroom doorknob, and they're definitely lurking in those smelly sneakers your son refuses to give up.

While kids place their faith in that old standby, the trusty cootie shot (often administered by a best buddy on the playground), parents tend to take a more practical approach. You vigilantly spray every room with disinfectant, constantly wipe down surfaces with bleach towelettes, and buy antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers, hoping to kill germs and prevent illness. And while these are all good and noble efforts, the best way to help your child remain cootie-free is to teach the importance of proper personal hygiene.

Clean and Healthy

When your child was a baby, you loved the sweet smell of baby sweat. You couldn't resist those sticky hands or that messy, food-encrusted face. Bath time was a joy -- it was a time when you and your baby could play and bond

However, your child is a bit older now, and the grimy hands and messy face have lost their adorable appeal. That once-sweet sweat has become a wee bit sour and stinky, and bath time has become a war of wills (it seems your child has developed an aversion to water and now prefers to remain gleefully dirty, rather than soak in the suds).

Good hygiene isn't just about keeping your child presentable, but an active means of preventing the spread of illnesses. It's as simple as this: A clean child is a healthy child. Proper hygiene is vital for school-age kids because most illnesses are contracted in school where little noses, mouths, and hands spread germs. When taught early on, proper hygiene can lead to a lifetime of cleanliness and good health. And as your child approaches puberty, the need to maintain good hygiene will become more obvious, when hormonal changes lead to stronger body odor and oilier skin and hair. Don't wait until then to teach the importance of proper hygiene. Start today with these basic strategies to help your child stay clean and healthy.

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