Hygiene Basics for Kids

Splish, Splash Taking a Bath

The Saturday night bath was a common thing back in our grandparents' day when indoor plumbing was something of a luxury and daily hygiene habits were a bit different. Now most homes have modern plumbing and daily showers or nightly baths are commonplace.

However, merely having indoor plumbing doesn't mean your kids will want to bathe! Many kids hate taking baths for various reasons -- fear of water, sensitive skin, an interruption to their play, etc. But daily bathing is essential for keeping the body clean and germ-free. Kids are more likely to enjoy bath time if it's fun, so buy kid-centric soaps, have lots of tub toys on hand, and use the time to talk with your child.

Kids like routines (even when they protest), so it's up to you to establish a daily bathing schedule. Options to consider:

  • A bath or shower before bedtime
  • A bath or shower before school
  • Face and hand washing before dinner
  • Wash basin bathing, i.e., cleaning the face, armpits, and genitals with a soap and water between bath or shower times

During bath time, kids should be shown how to:

  • Wash their face
  • Wash their hair
  • Wash their armpits
  • Wash their feet
  • Clean beneath and clip fingernails and toenails
    (you may want to do this for younger children)
  • Clean their ears
    (this should entail cleaning only the exterior parts of the ear --including behind the ears where oil and dirt accumulate -- with a washcloth)
  • Clean their genital area and bottom
    (uncircumcised boys should be shown the proper way to keep the foreskin area clean)

 

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