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Teaching your little ones about hygiene can often seem extremely tricky, as children appear to be prone to mess in every form. Muddy knees, grubby nails and sweaty skin are common occurrences in any fun filled garden play session, but could these things be causing your kids harm? It’s important that you can take the right steps as a parent to protect your little ones from the everyday risks that they face, putting a greater focus on maintaining good hygiene to ensure dangers associated with the spread of bacteria can be reduced. Luckily it needn’t be as difficult as you might think to get started, as there are a few brilliant ideas and concepts which can be utilised to teach your children about the most important hygiene features they need to stay healthy. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best tips and tricks that you can make the most of today?
Why Is Hygiene Important?
Hygiene is important for many different reasons. Failing to take proper care of yourself by keeping clean can encourage the spread of harmful grime and bacteria, leading to further health issues as well as odour. If you do not show your little ones how they can maintain good hygiene then they will not be able to achieve optimum wellbeing, so the responsibility is on you as a parent or guardian to guide them properly. Not washing yourself properly can encourage the bacteria that builds up your skin to enter your body through your eyes, mouth and nose, as well as causing acne (painful spots that often scar) and fungal infections. A fungal infection like ringworm is easy to pick up if you fail to keep clean, and this can cause itchy red blotches to appear all over the body. Allowing your little ones to use their hands to eat after playing outside is something that may easily slip past you, but this can lead to throat infections, diarrhoea, and even hepatitis B. It’s so simple to avoid all of these health issues and more by simply maintaining good levels of hygiene, so there’s no time like the present to implement a few extra helpful steps.
Maintaining A Healthy Mouth
Maintaining a healthy mouth is such an important feature of a hygienic lifestyle, as you must help to lay the best foundations for long term oral wellbeing when your children are in their earliest years. As soon as teething begins, follow the steps recommended to you by your healthcare professional to allow for the best possible growth. Though milk teeth are only utilised for a short time in comparison to adult teeth, it’s still vital that the right cleaning routine is in place to ensure they stay strong for as long as they are needed. Start by purchasing a soft bristle brush that’s suitable for little ones with sensitive gums, and find a quality toothpaste made for children that contains fluoride. Brush your little ones teeth for two minutes at least twice a day until they are able to take over and brush themselves. Always be sure to use no more than a smear of toothpaste on the brush, and supervise them at all times to make sure they spit everything out rather than swallowing the foam. When your children reach an age at which they begin to lose their baby teeth, you must ensure that the right cleaning routine is being followed to allow for the best environment for new adult teeth to grow. Flossing can be introduced on a regular basis, but do your research before you decide to floss your child’s teeth so that you are fully aware of the pressure and technique required. Mouthwash is also a great extra that can support optimum mouth health, but be certain that your child has spat out all remaining liquid once they have swilled. If your child does not follow the recommended steps detailed above, then it’s likely that a build up of bad bacteria will encourage the formation of plaque and tartar. In the short term this will lead to bad breath, but after a certain amount of time the build up may encourage tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease.
The Importance Of Handwashing
Washing your hands is an essential step to maintain proper hygiene, as your hands pick up a large amount of dirt and grime throughout the day. Little ones use their hands for all manner of things, from exploring the great outdoors to playing with their friends at school, making the spread of bacteria extremely likely. Not encouraging them to wash their hands on a regular basis (especially before a meal) will mean that the bacteria they have picked up throughout the day will make its way inside their body, whether this is through touching their face or eating. This could be extremely harmful, as there are many risks amongst everyday life that might have a terrible effect on your little one’s health. For example, someone with an illness may cough or sneeze on a surface outside which your child then touches, leading to the likelihood of them catching this illness increasing if they fail to wash this bacteria from their hands. Whenever you come inside, whether this is after a trip to the grocery store or a day out at the park, encourage your kids to wash their hands thoroughly with warm water and an antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds. Find a handy guide that shows you and your little ones how to wash hands properly, focusing on scrubbing underneath nails, across the palms and around the wrists.
There are many different kinds of hand washes available, from those with extra moisturizing ingredients for dry skin to high alcohol blends that kill diseases immediately upon contact. Besides you can choose between liquid hand washes and soap bars. Before getting a hand wash, make sure that the product is hypoallergenic as kids’ skin is much softer and can be irritated faster than adults’ skin. Try to use natural-based products which are free of harsh chemicals and will not cause any skin rashes. For instance, if your child has dry skin you can choose natural goat milk soaps that are rich in fatty acids and help to keep skin hydrated and nourished all day. However, for oily skin, it would be better to use soaps or washes that contain aloe vera. Those will gently remove oils without damaging the skin barrier. If you do not have access to a handwashing station but you and your children would still like to eat, it’s a good idea to invest in some antibacterial hand gel that can be used as a short term replacement. Children’s antibacterial gels come in handy letting packs that they can attach to their school bag for mobile use.
Making Bath Time Bearable
Bath time can often be a stressful experience for parents everywhere, as many children do not like to take a shower or enjoy the process of washing, drying themselves or brushing their hair. Bath time should be an essential part of a child’s day, as you must get rid of the sweat and dirt that they have collected throughout the day so that they can go to sleep in a clean bed with fresh skin. Choosing between a bath and a shower depends on your bathroom facilities and the preference of your child, as it’s better to use a bath if they are below the age of 7. It’s a good idea to invest in a personal sponge that they can use to wash themselves properly, as well as a child friendly no-tears washing formula that can soothe their skin whilst cleaning at the same time. Utilising some fun bubble bath hacks can help you to make sure your little ones look forward to bath time rather than dread the thought, as there are many ways you can help your kids to have fun whilst staying clean!
There are several specific skin problems that your child may encounter, from dry skin and eczema to spots and acne. Any skin related issue requires specialist treatment to at best reduce the symptoms, so it’s important that you can take the right steps to help them feel as comfortable as possible. Taking your child to your doctor or healthcare specialist should be your first priority, as they can send you in the right direction towards identifying the best solution. It’s a good idea to use a natural treatment before seeking any harsh chemical or medicinal solutions, as an allergic reaction to the latter can be far more serious. Oatmeal lotions and coconut oil can be a great way to reduce the symptoms of eczema, whilst tea tree oil and proper hydration can be of real benefit for spotty skin. Failing to treat skin conditions can cause them to worsen and potentially lead to more serious issues, so it’s best to take action as soon as you spot the first signs of a problem.
Teaching your little ones how to adopt proper hygiene has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the ideas, tips and tricks detailed above! It’s so vital that you can show your children how to keep themselves clean, as uncleanliness can lead to all manner of uncomfortable health issues that can easily be avoided. Start off by implementing an oral clean routine, brushing their teeth twice daily as well as utilising floss and mouthwash as they get older. Encourage them to wash their hands with antibacterial soap on a regular basis especially before meal times, and make bathtime fun so that they look forward to getting clean rather than avoiding the shower like the plague. Always invest in any specialist skincare to meet your child’s unique needs!