Children like to learn, explore, and imitate everything they see. As a result, parents are very important role models. In order for children to grow up healthy and strong, good hygiene habits should be promoted for children to be fit and healthy, both physically and emotionally. Parents should encourage and support their children to follow these good hygiene habits:
Teeth Brushing: Children should be encouraged to clean their teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal. It is not easy because most little children don’t like to clean their teeth. However, it is very important. Parents can encourage their children to brush their teeth by showing them videos on teeth brushing tips or singing teeth brushing songs. Through imitation, the children will brush their teeth like the children in the video or like their parents. Instead of forcing them to brush their teeth, parents should make brushing their teeth fun for them, and slowly train them to accept and even enjoy brushing.
Hand Washing: Parents should encourage their children to wash their hands often, especially before eating and after using the bathroom, so as to kill any harmful germs. This is especially important for small children as they often put their fingers into their mouths. Below are the six steps of effective hand washing.
Toilet Training: Potty training or toilet training should be started at the age at which each child appears to be ready. Most children are ready to start when they are between 22 to 30 months of age, but every child is different. As such, establishing daily routines is essential. Parents often worry when their children refuse to be toilet trained. Sometimes this is because the parents start training too early as they think their children are ready, but they are not. Also, some parents mishandle toilet training problems. For example, when the children refuse to be toilet trained, the parent gets angry and it adds pressure to the situation. Parents should wait until the child displays more readiness to be toilet trained.
Children respond well to praise for good efforts. Through positive reinforcement, parents can encourage their children to adopt good hygiene as part of their daily routine. Over time, it becomes a healthy habit.
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored content from Samitivej International Children’s Hospital, and it is reprinted here with permission of the hospital.