Nurse's Notes: Personal Hygiene
Most children go through a stage where they don't want to take a bath, they prefer their hair uncombed, or they don't want to brush their teeth. It is important for children to learn lifelong habits of good hygiene to keep them healthy and prevent the spread of common illnesses. Here are a few hints.
Make baths and showers fun. Children with normal skin should be taking baths or showers daily. As children play, they perspire and get dirty. For small children you can add toys and games during bath time. Make bath time fun. If your child is "too grown up" for a bath, encourage them to take showers. There are even special shower heads for younger children. What ever you do, don't forget the soap.
Wash your hands often. Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of germ. Use soap and sing the "Happy Birthday" song or the "ABC" song.
Wash and brush your hair. You might not want to wash your child's hair daily, but do encourage your child to brush their hair. If your child likes longer hair, try pulling their hair back in a braid or pony tail.
Consider Deodorant. As children get older they start to develop underarm odor. Delicately talk to your child about body odor. This might be hard, but it is easier for your child to hear about it from you then from a friend. If needed, you might consider having your child use a deodorant.
Wash your feet. Encourage your child to wash their feet daily. Don't forget to teach your child to wash between their toes. Make sure your child's shoes are dry before they wear them. Foot odor is usually a by-product of bacterial growth which can live in shoes. If your child's feet sweat, try cotton socks, odor eaters, charcoal insoles, baking soda or corn starch to absorb odors.
Brush, brush, brush. Teach your child to brush their teeth at least once in the morning and once at night. Encourage them to brush between meals.
Besides preventing the spread of disease, good personal hygiene helps us to look nice and not offend others.