Getting our kids to practice good hygiene habits now can save them from a lot of sick days in the future. Most children will only acknowledge that their hands need to be washed once they are visibly dirty (some won’t even then).
- Wash your hands often, and do it in front of your kids. Wash your hands with soap and water, when available, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol if necessary. As a precaution use an antibacterial soap any time you are dealing with food.
- Make good hygiene a fun practice. Buy soaps in the shape of animals or their favorite show character. Some soaps come with toys inside, small children will be excited to work their way down to the toy.
- Explain to children why you are washing your hands, even when they appear clean to them. If they can identify with the reasoning behind good practice they will take ownership of that new information.
- Establish patterns and routines around good hygiene. Children operate well with established routines.
- Point out that poor hygiene and poor health go hand in hand.