Parental Tips

A Comprehensive Guide To Personal Hygiene For Kids

Children taught the value of good hygiene will uphold high, healthy standards in everything that they do. Personal hygiene for kids is a subject that is best approached as early as possible. Parents need to not only instill good habits but make their children understand how personal hygiene and cleanliness contribute towards total wellbeing, confident social standards, and consistently good health.


Hygiene and children

child hygiene


As we know all too well, children are sponges for knowledge mimicking their parents, elders, and peers in an attempt to expand what they know. Little children are touchy-feely evolving from putting everything in their mouths to touching, grabbing, and holding indiscriminately. We’ll show you the best ways to handle hygiene and children no matter what age a focus on better hygiene started.

Why is personal hygiene for children important

Good health starts with proper self-hygiene. Keeping our bodies clean protects the immune system while upholding good general health by curbing the spread of germs and diseases in society. Children need to understand that not everything they come in contact with is completely safe, and they must learn how bacteria is spread so that they don’t compromise their own health or the health of others. Poor personal hygiene also has psychosocial implications leading to diminished confidence and difficulties interacting within society.

Hygiene definition for kids

Personal hygiene practices are the things that you do to keep your body healthy. Hygiene practices like washing your hands, bathing or showering, brushing your teeth, washing your face, cutting and cleaning nails, and other healthy actions prevent germs from entering the body and being spread to others. Good hygiene keeps your body functioning properly while sustaining a healthy appearance and helping you feel good.

Types of personal hygiene

poor hygiene in children


Personal hygiene for kids can be broken down into several basic categories. Here are the core concepts of hygiene that all children need to grasp.


In the words of the CDC – Clean hands save lives. Washing your hands regularly prevents the spreading of germs and lessens the chance that you ingest something that’ll make you sick. The importance of frequent handwashing can’t be stressed strongly enough. Make kids understand the science behind why you need to wash your hands and when washing is needed. Once they grasp the logical understanding of how bacteria spreads and make a habit of keeping themselves clean, good personal hygiene will become a lasting natural part of life.

Oral hygiene

Good dental health must be upheld from the earliest age. Children must be taught why they need to brush and floss. Explain the nature of enamel, gum disease, and the repercussions of not taking good care of your teeth and gums. Kids can start brushing their own teeth and learning to brush autonomously from the age of three, but you may need to wait until about six or seven before letting them floss alone.

All about baby teeth: when and how do they fall out?


child showering


Bathing or showering must be done at least once a day at the close of the day. Twice daily bathing is recommended. Most kids will be able to bathe or shower by themselves by the age of five. Ensure that they know how to wash everywhere and what proper self-care while bathing or showering entails. Kids must grasp the essential nature of washing between their fingers and toes, under the arms, washing their genitalia, and cleaning all other areas properly before they start washing alone.


Children should be taught to wash their hair at least twice a week to keep it in good health. Teach how hair contains oils and how the root requires nourishment and moisture for healthy hair to thrive. Explain scalp health, and help them understand why sharing hair care products and equipment like brushes and combs with others is a bad idea. A thorough understanding of hair health will ensure that they don’t abuse their hair with chemicals, over maintenance, or poor hair and scalp care later in life.

Nail care

how to teach a child to bathe themselves


Cleaning your nails daily should be a priority from a young age. Nails must be kept short, and kids need to learn to scrub under their nails, making sure that they’re spotless at all times. Nail-biting should be discouraged, but dirty nails make matters even worse, drastically raising the risk that bacteria will be ingested.

Toilet hygiene

Keep in mind that the bowel and bladder only start developing from roughly eighteen months old, and most kids only have complete control by 30 months. Don’t start toilet training too early. Kids must learn to keep a proper posture while on the toilet because it helps with bowel and bladder control. Establish a routine to promote regular habits and prevent constipation. Limit fluids just before bed and ensure that they know to use the bathroom before bed. From as soon as they can understand, convey how vitally important washing their hands after going to the bathroom is.

Food hygiene

kids showering


Food needs to be clean before it’s ingested, and being clean before eating must become second nature. Food hygiene is of the utmost importance. Parents are encouraged to teach their children the origin of meat, vegetables, and other ingredients, instilling a full understanding of bacteria, the role of cooking meat, and cross-contamination. A child who grows up only ever eating clean food with clean hands in a clean environment will never allow things to be any other way.

Illness hygiene

Children who comprehend how illnesses are transferred will want to minimize their risk and the risk of others, actively enforcing illness hygiene habits learned. Back good hygiene education with a set of illness-preventing habits like covering your mouth with your elbow before coughing and looking down and away while covering your face whilst sneezing. Encourage the use of handkerchiefs or tissues. Teach them to stay out of contact with others when sick, and help them learn why a clean environment is extra important to prevent the spread of germs.

Domestic hygiene

mental illness refusal to bathe


Activities involved in keeping the household and your immediate environment clean are all a part of domestic hygiene. Ideally, by the time a child has reached adolescence, they will understand the role of washing household linens, clothing, cleaning surface areas, and maintaining hygienic conditions throughout everything they encounter. Domestic hygiene includes keeping a clean kitchen, sanitary floors, and clean living and sleeping areas.

Community hygiene

Teach your children to dispose of waste properly by making sure they understand the full complications of illegal dumping and discarding of waste improperly. Community hygiene covers caring for water and food sources, keeping the immediate environment clear from continents and miscellaneous waste, and respecting hygiene in public places. Hygienic behavior in public, waste disposal, proper ventilation, and education concerning the proper conditions for animal handling should all be taught from a young age.

Sleep hygiene

Kids often overlook sleep hygiene as a crucial part of their development. It’s no wonder that so many adults still don’t know how to get proper rest. Help your children understand the place of a healthy sleep schedule while forming good sleep habits — ready for bed at the same time each night and wake at the same time every day. As your child grows, they will need to shift their sleep times. Make sure the adjustment is gradual, and help them understand why changes to body rhythms need to be eased in.

Best healthy personal hygiene habits for children

shower avoidance syndrome


The best personal hygiene choice will always be the one that keeps you and those in contact with you clean, safe, and healthy. The logic behind healthy personal hygiene habits comes naturally once one understands the many benefits and repercussions. There are, however, certain healthy habits that serve as a fantastic model for hygienic behavior.

Here are some of the healthiest personal hygiene habits for children to form:

  1. Healthy Procedures for Handwashing, Bathing, and Showering.
  2. Regular Frequent Handwashing.
  3. Handwashing After Touching Contaminated Surfaces.
  4. Handwashing After Using The Toilet.
  5. Handwashing Before Preparing or Eating Food.
  6. Handwashing After Touching Raw Meat.
  7. Handwashing After Touching Animals or Insects.
  8. Handwashing After Coughing or Sneezing.
  9. Handwashing After Coming Into Contact With Bodily Fluids.
  10. Twice-Daily Bathing or Showering.
  11. Twice-Daily Toothbrushing and Flossing.
  12. Good Nail and Toenail Care.
  13. Good Hair Care.
  14. Social Distancing From Those With Symptoms of Illness.
  15. Refraining From Touching Face.
  16. Refraining From Touching Mouth.
  17. Refraining From Scratching Sores or Irritated Skin.
  18. Sharing Food Conscientiously With Others (Taking Care Against Contamination).
  19. Wearing Fresh Clothing and Undergarments.
  20. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance of Personal Property.
  21. Healthy Sleeping Position, Hours, and Environment.

Poor hygiene in children

preteen shower


Whether it’s a poor parental example, peer pressure, a lack of understanding, or simply laziness, poor hygiene in children prevails from time to time. Handling the behavior and helping your child do better is a matter of identifying their motivation behind ignoring what’s good for them. Even sheer rebelliousness itself can make a child who always takes good care of themselves ignore basic hygiene like brushing their teeth and cutting their nails.

Before considering anything ask, ask yourself – could my child be depressed? Acting out of character and/or displaying deviant behavior is most often a mask for a feeling that can’t be communicated. Ensure that your child actually understands why they want and need to be clean in any particular way. At times adjusting to a life full of things to do can lead to forsaking hygiene in the lure of what they think is more “important.”

However, if ignorance is not the cause, it’s time to consider underlying problems like anger management, depression, developmental disabilities, cognitive “walls,” and complex social issues, trauma, or bipolar disorder. Another possibility is that your children could be emulating bad examples set by either parental figures or those who they look up to.

How to manage personal hygiene for kids? Tips and useful methods for parents

Make the time you spend teaching your kids good personal hygiene fun and engaging. Young children can be encouraged to remember their habits and the proper processes for handwashing, bathing, or nail care using songs and games. If a good attitude towards personal hygiene forms early in life, there’s less chance that the foundational habits will be forsaken as they grow older.

Self-care habits will be adopted as your child becomes more familiar with themselves. Instilling an understanding of good hygiene is the best way to empower your kids to make good decisions. When a competent child simply won’t adopt good hygiene, ensure that they understand the social implications. This includes both the demeaning nature adopted by others when faced with a slobbish person and the way that it affects their own self-perception, confidence, and affinity to grasp opportunities.

Tips to teach your children personal hygiene

hygiene definition for kids


We suggest that you use these core practical tips to shape a healthy mindset within your child or children.

Positive encouragement wins the war

Communication is the skeleton key to better relationships and bonding without words. Before you judge or discern the next best course of action, choose to encourage, motivate, and relate in an attempt to understand your child. Encourage positive hygiene, communicate and set a good example before all.

Shape a defining example

Kids look to you as their model for life. If you don’t uphold good personal hygiene habits, no amount of education, information, or pleading will get your child to behave in the way that you know is best for them. Examples are set early in life, so strive to live as healthily as possible, reinforcing your rules with an unwavering personal commitment to hygiene.

Create a routine they can relate to

hygiene for children


Routine is easy to adopt if you’re driven and proactive. Set reminders and make following daily personal hygiene routines fun. The better you can decipher your child’s motivators and the thing they relate to, the better you can craft a routine that they’ll actively want to be involved in.

Make personal hygiene personable

We have an uncanny ability to make up our minds and stick to it no matter how silly the conclusion may be. Unless our children understand the fundamentals and science behind health and wellbeing, they will never adopt lasting beneficial personal hygiene habits. Make sure that their relation to keeping clean is one founded in understanding, using education as your primary leverage and motivation at all times.

Present ample opportunities for engagement within hygiene

Personal hygiene education is a necessity, but no one said that it couldn’t be fun. Find new ways to engage and motivate your kids. Advanced personal hygiene devices like a cutting-edge toothbrush, a Waterpik, or a foot spa can be used to coax your kids to be interested in keeping clean and healthy. There are tons of personal trackers, smartphone apps, and gadgets readily available to spark interest in personal hygiene.

Things to avoid while teaching health to children

personal hygiene for kids


Live by the healthy habits and mindset you are trying to instill in your children. Don’t allow a busy schedule or anything else to lead to set a bad example. If your kids see you bending the “rules,” they’ll find their own ways to break them. Shape a health-conscious family life, and the whole household will thrive, making healthy habits much easier to adopt.

Personal hygiene for kids may be of paramount importance, but please don’t police your children. If the attitude that follows personal hygiene is one of routine with a fear of punishment rather than an understanding and respect of health, no kid will keep up their habits. Approach hygiene from a positive perspective, leaning on the benefits of healthy living rather than making your kids cower from the consequences.

How to teach a child to bathe and shower themselves

Start off by laying out a selection of toys, favorite loofahs or washcloths, and all the body care products and washes that they love. Your first priority is to make them comfortable and eager. During the first few years, supervision is essential, but once they’re responsible and adeptly in control of themselves, bathing or showering will become a go-to natural process.

Teach your child the proper process for bathing from young, and they’ll be bathing responsibly from about the age of five.

Here are the essential steps to a complete bath or shower to teach them:

  1. Begin by either shampooing or helping your child shampoo their hair.
  2. Rinse out the shampoo.
  3. Reapply shampoo – scrub, and lather well.
  4. Either help your child achieve a good lather using their favorite body wash or let them do it themselves.
  5. Ensure that ears, armpits, feet, bum, and groin are covered.
  6. Rinse out the shampoo and rinse the body clean.
  7. Apply conditioner working it into the roots.
  8. Use a finger pad or scrub to clean tails and toenails.
  9. Rinse all soap away
  10. Finally, rinse hair clean.

Keep providing positive support and encouragement

good hygiene practices


Arm your kids with enough information and a good attitude towards personal hygiene, and they’ll make healthy choices all by themselves. How do you treat personal hygiene for kids within your family? Have you picked up any key communication tips? We encourage you to share your insight and advice in the comments section below.

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