Kids can get sick if they don't learn good hygiene habits. Bad hygiene creates a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. They thrive in dirty, unkempt conditions. Many of the recommendations that doctors give children during cold and flu season have to do with hygiene. For example, children are told to cover their mouths when they cough and wash their hands regularly. Doing these things can help with killing germs and preventing them from spreading from child to child.
Bad oral hygiene can lead to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Children should be brushing thoroughly twice a day for a few minutes each time. Kids also need to floss once a day to remove plague, which contains harmful bacteria, from between their teeth. Adults should help younger children brush and floss to make sure they're being done properly. Dentists may also recommend other options, such as fluoride use. If so, make sure your child is doing it when they should and properly following directions. Not only is good oral care going to help keep kids healthy, it will also help prevent them from having to experience the traumas of some dental procedures, such as tooth extractions and root canals.
Kids seem to always be touching their faces with their hands. They also can't seem to keep their hands to themselves. For these reasons, it is very important for children to regularly wash their hands in order to prevent sickness in themselves and others. It is recommended that they wash their hands in the following situations:
- When hands are noticeably dirty or sticky
- After sneezing or coughing
- After touching anything dirty
- After using the restroom
- Before eating
- Before touching their face or mouth
Kids tend to rush washing their hands and may not always do as thorough of a job as they should. If this is an issue with your child, try using a timer to make sure they take their time and do it right.
Bathing will help wash away external bacteria from your child's body. Younger children may not need to bathe every single day. When they do bathe, you should help them until they are able to fully clean themselves effectively. It will become more important to bathe daily as they get older and begin having hormonal changes that cause them to sweat more. Getting kids into the habit of bathing everyday when they're younger is a good way to get them used to it.
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