The Importance of Forming Good Personal Hygiene Habits from Childhood

The Importance of Forming Good Personal Hygiene Habits from Childhood
Elena Sanz Martín

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz Martín.

Last update: 08 November, 2022

Personal hygiene habits are essential for the health of adults and children alike. It’s a proven fact that small actions that form your personal hygiene help prevent diseases caused by viruses or bacteria.

A habit forms over time. For an action to become a habit, you have to repeat it many times. This is the way you integrate it into your routine.

Therefore, it’s important that even small children start to form good personal hygiene habits. If a child gets used to keeping themselves clean, this will follow them throughout their lifetime.

What Is Personal Hygiene?

Personal hygiene is composed of the actions that a person does to tend to their cleanliness and appearance. The objective is, on the one hand, to prevent contracting diseases. On the other hand, it’s to live harmoniously in society.

Taking care of your personal hygiene is a responsibility that everyone has. Therefore, the family environment is the first place a child learns how to take care of themselves.

“Developing good personal hygiene habits from childhood is a parent’s mission.”

With daily practice and being a good example, parents should begin teaching children how to practice good hygiene for every part of their body. 

These moments dedicated to personal hygiene habits should be pleasant and in a way that the child enjoys. Parents often create different strategies to make them fun for their child.

Schools also contribute to forming these habits. In this way, the school and family unite under a common cause. The fact that both of these contexts teach them about good personal hygiene habits makes the child pay more attention.

The Importance of Forming Good Personal Hygiene Habits from Childhood

What Are the Most Important Personal Hygiene Habits?

For your child to develop good personal hygiene habits, you must think about each body part separately. Organizing a daily hygiene routine will help your child get used to it.

The basic actions your child should carry out are:

1. Bathe Every Day

When the child takes a bath, their skin eliminates toxins and the rest of the dirt accumulated throughout the day. The best time to take a bath is at night, before going to bed.

In addition to being hygienic, baths help the child relax and sleep better. However, don’t misuse baths, especially with temperatures that are too low.

Showering or bathing is a good time to show the child how to wash each part of their body, from their head to their toes, without forgetting ears, armpits, and intimate areas.

Additionally, it’s important to teach them that they should end each bath by drying themselves off.

2. Brush and Wash Their Hair Well

Hair gets dirty very easily from the dust in the environment. Keeping it clean and free of nits and lice is very important.

Lice cause itching, which could cause headaches, overall malaise and irritability. Additionally, they stop kids from resting well since the problems don’t stop when they’re asleep.

3. Wash Your Hands Frequently with Water and Soap

This is one of the most important personal hygiene habits. With this action, you can prevent diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, cholera, influenza, respiratory infections, and other sicknesses.

UNICEF recognizes that 50% of sicknesses and death in small children are caused by germs that originate in fecal matter, transmitted by eating food with dirty hands.

Make sure your child washes their hands at home, before eating and after using the bathroom, to ensure they stay healthy.

The Importance of Forming Good Personal Hygiene Habits from Childhood

4. In Hand Care, Nails Need Special Treatment

Oftentimes, nails aren’t taken care of properly. Keep them short and clean to prevent bacteria and viruses from building up. It’s convenient to teach a child how to clean their nails with a gentle brush made for them.

5. Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal

You should brush your teeth after every important meal, or at least twice per day. This is an essential step to preventing cavities, halitosis and other dental problems.

For the first few years of your child’s life, it’s important that you help them brush their teeth. Ideally, after age 3, they should be able to do it by themselves.

Additionally, it’s necessary to explain to your child how to move the brush so they clean all of their teeth.

Working with children so they learn these basic personal hygiene habits will contribute to keeping them as healthy as possible.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.