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This may be the best time for parents to introduce good hygiene habits

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Establishing healthy routines when your children are young will help create habits that will last a lifetime.

Among other things, Covid-19 has taught us the importance of hygiene. Establishing healthy routines when your children are young will help create habits that will last a lifetime. 

However, this is easier said than done when you have children who are fussy about routines. Until they have grown and can care for themselves, their well-being is in your hands. This may seem like a challenge, but there are ways to make this journey more fun and easier for both you and your young ones.

“As your child moves from infancy into toddlerhood and beyond, there are some things they need to learn to take care of themselves. Children are unable to understand what personal hygiene is. Hence, parents have a duty to teach their little ones the importance of learning personal hygiene habits, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic,” says Kuvashni Bhagwandas, marketing manager at Twinsaver.

You know that hygiene is important, but how can you make your child prioritise it? Well, as with everything you teach children, it goes a lot better when you make it fun. 

Below are some tips from Twinsaver to make good hygiene habits a daily routine:

Teach proper hand washing

The most important health and hygiene habit to teach children is to wash their hands, especially after coming home from playing outside, using the toilet or potty and before eating. 

Hand washing is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses. With younger children, you may need to remind them from time to time not to splash and dash – run their hands for two seconds under the tap without soap and call it done.

Make sure your children wash their hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Use this time to help them count to 20, you can reward them afterwards with a fun activity

Teach them to cover sneezes and coughs

Germs can travel far and wide on a sneeze or a cough. Get your child into the habit of covering his or her mouth and nose with a tissue  and make sure to dispose of the used tissue immediately when they sneeze or cough – it is simple, blow your nose and throw away the tissue. 

Teach children good toilet hygiene 

Learning to use the toilet is like learning any new skill – it takes time. Remember to wipe your child’s bottom with toilet paper until your child learns how to without wasting toilet paper. 

If needed, you can put a sign on your bathroom wall to remind your child what he/she has to do after using the toilet. Moreover, you should also teach your child how to wash his/her hands after using the toilet. If your child is younger, having a sticker or star chart for completing these tasks will work well and help you to get them invested in these habits.

Encourage good dental health and hygiene

Younger children have the motor skills necessary to do a fairly good job of brushing their teeth on their own (though you may still want to take a quick turn until they are six or seven). 

Get your child into the habit of flossing and brushing their tongue to avoid bad breath. Get a fun timer to help your child brush longer, like a cool little hourglass filled with blue or pink sand.

Set up regular bath times

Many parents find that evening baths are a nice way to relax a child before bed and bathing the night before can help ease the morning rush.

“Being able to talk openly and honestly about keeping clean will help you manage the more difficult personal hygiene issues that are likely to come up when your children become teenagers,” said Bhagwandas.