The Covid-19 pandemic had not only impacted the global economy but it changed the way we live our lives and interact with one another. 

Despite all that, the pandemic inevitably opened our eyes towards the importance of hygiene and altered our behaviours and attitudes. People are washing their hands more regularly now more than ever and taking care of their health.

As we move towards normalcy, and schools re-open, we should carry forward these good  hygiene habits to ensure our kids stay healthy and stay safe from illnesses. Schools are a common area where viruses and germs spread viruses amongst kids when they mix with one another, play together and share their food together.

 

4 Ways To Instil good hygiene habits in kids

Here are some ways to help your kids practice good hygiene habits

1. Wash hands, rinse and repeat

Hygiene starts with washing hands.

It is not surprising that health ministries around the world have emphasised the importance of washing hands as the first step to preventing the spread of germs. Washing hands is the basic hygiene habit that your child should learn as well as knowing when and how to wash their hands properly.

Important times to wash hands

  • Before and after eating
  • After using the toilet
  • After sneezing and coughing
  • After touching pets
  • Before and after cleaning a cut or wound

Follow this 5 important steps to washing hands 

  • Rinse hands with water
  • Turn off the tap and apply soap to your hands
  • Scrub hands with soap at the palms, back of hands, between fingers and fingernails
  • Turn on the tap and rinse your hands well
  • Dry hands with a clean towel or tissue

 

  1. Start young

We know that good habits develop best when our kids start young. Start by teaching them early on the importance of washing hands, taking showers, and brushing their teeth.Guide them to do these tasks at first when they are around the age of 3-5 years old. 

Make sure you are present while they do these tasks so that you can encourage them if they are doing them well or show them what they can do better. As they get older by 6-9 years old, they should be able to perform their hygiene routines on their own, but make sure to frequently check in on them and give them little reminders.

  1. Make sure their finger nails are always clean

It is a widely known fact that fingernails are a breeding ground for bacteria. The germs that accumulate under your kid’s nails can be easily transferred to their mouth, eyes and nose. This can lead to infection and illnesses in most cases. Ensure that your child’s fingernails are clipped and trimmed every week on a regular basis.

When they are old enough, guide the, to cut their nails through this steps:

  • Trim nails when they are getting long with a clean nail clipper(best to trim after taking a bath)
  • Cut nails straight across while rounding a little at the edges to keep nails strong
  • Cut straight across for toenails as well to reduce the risk of getting ingrowns
  • Filing nails back and forth can weaken nails so remember file in the same direction when smoothing rough edges
  • Avoid pushing back cuticles as they are important in protecting nail roots
  1. Ensure Their School bags and Toys are clean

The two things that your child holds the most are their school bags when they attend school in the morning and their favourite toys when they come home from school. That being said, it would make sense as parents to ensure that these two items are always clean. Kids play with their toys almost everywhere and you would be surprised where they end up putting their toys sometimes (hint: their mouth). 

Moreover, when they share their toys with their friends, germs tend to be transmitted through them. On the other hand, make sure your kid’s school bags are clean without remnants of food, especially if they carry their lunches and snacks in their bags to school. Keeping the items that your kids use on a daily basis clean will ensure that germs and bacteria do not spread easily. Here is a quick guide on how to clean your school bag: 

https://www.swanbag.com/how-to-clean-your-swan-bag

Forming good hygiene habits is an essential part of a healthy child growing up. As with other habits, these habits may take time for you kids to follow and develop, but the long-term health investment will be worth the trouble in the end.