Why is personal hygiene important for children?
Good hygiene habits are essential to ensure the health and safety of your child and the children he/she interacts with. It is especially important to start building habits of hygiene in early childhood, when children learn the right order of doing things and acquire many of their life skills.
Children with disabilities do not always acquire a personal hygiene regimen so easily. Parents of children with disabilities often experience frustration, as these activities become a major battle at home.
Personal hygiene goes beyond just being clean. It is a lifestyle and a healthy routine to stay disciplined and organised. Some useful skills to start with include:
- Toilet Etiquette
- Brushing Teeth
- Washing Hands
- Taking a Bath
We've created a list of a few tips on how to ease this battle and help your children learn with ease.
How to approach these tasks:
1. First and foremost, set up the right example by MODELLING your own habits to your young ones. Parents are the ultimate role model for their child. Before you explain the importance of personal hygiene and start teaching the necessary skills, show them, involve them and set up the best example for them to follow.
2. Introduce the topic as a FUN project, by engaging your child through the use of simple and fun books, videos, cartoons, printable colouring worksheets, toys, etc.
3. Build a morning and evening SCHEDULE. Personal hygiene is a daily ritual that should be incorporated into a daily routine. By encouraging your child to repeat the same actions, in the same order, each morning and night will help them create a habit. Here is an example that you might use for their morning schedule, before school:
- Wake up
- Wash hands / shower
- Brush teeth
- Get dressed
- Eat breakfast
- Put on shoes
- Take backpack
4. Use SIMPLE language. For children with disabilities it can be overwhelming to learn new skills and to listen to too many verbal instructions.
5. Find APPS and GAMES that might help them learn about self-care hygiene in a playful manner.