Instilling positive hygiene routines in youngsters is imperative. Their worlds can consist of digging for worms in the mud; chewing on shared toys; sampling sophisticated delicacies of grass, dirt and chocolate and sharing their constant runny noses with one another. Whilst it is not possible (and not recommended) to protect children from every single germ, and it is unfeasible to sanitise everything in sight, there are things that we can do to look after the health and hygiene of our charges whilst encouraging their adventurous explorations.
Education is the most powerful tool a child can have and this applies to healthy hygiene routines. By teaching little ones the dos and don’ts in hygiene, you will be providing them with life lessons that will make a real difference. Children love to get messy, eat fun foods and generally tap into their 5 senses to explore. This is excellent – let them. Just make sure that you are ready to focus on a few things afterwards to establish positive habits in their hygiene
Children’s hands are often filthy. They use them for everything and so need to be washed frequently. Make sure that you do this at the following times:
☑ before eating or making food
☑ after touching raw meat or fish
☑ after using the toilet
☑ when ill or around illness
☑ after touching animals/feeding animal
☑ after sneezing or coughing into hands
It is not just clean hands that make a difference. Nails love to hide bacteria beneath them so make sure that you cut them regularly and keep them short.
Before babies become mobile, they tend not to be overly unclean. However, once they start to move and sample food, they can become dirty very quickly. A bath every night is a great way to keep them clean and helps to create a consistent bedtime routine too!
It is extremely important to stay on top of teeth cleaning for both milk teeth and adult teeth. Ensuring that teeth are brushed twice a day and that you train your charge into letting you brush properly will help to prevent things such as gum disease later on. Once a baby has teeth, make sure that teeth are cleaned after their final bottle. It can be tempting to continue to feed a baby to sleep, however, it can be damaging and lead to tooth decay so try to switch on to water if possible.
Toys and surfaces..
Germs are everywhere and when children play together they pass them back and forth as they share toys, food and high-chairs. Anti-bacterial spray and soapy water is a must when looking after children. Wash toys regularly and clean surfaces to create a clean and hygienic environment for your charge to play in.
Remember, keep them clean and teach them about healthy hygiene habits.