American Youth Academy

AYA Health Corner

Maintaining Healthy Children & Their Hygiene

October 2019 

 

Staying healthy and clean is a basic human need; humans are responsible for their own health and well-being. It’s up to us to listen to our bodies and to take care of ourselves. By teaching our students about health and hygiene, we are empowering them to remain healthy children and keep from spreading germs. When we practice good hygiene, we are not only keeping healthy, but it also makes us feel good about ourselves. Here are a few activities to help demonstrate how important health and hygiene is in maintaining healthy children.

Health and hygiene topics should be a foundation taught at home by the parents. We can all agree that good habits means good health. By asking students to follow good hygiene habits at home, you can keep your home free of infectious diseases and germs, and who wouldn’t want that?

Types of personal hygiene

Each person’s idea of personal hygiene differs. These main categories are a useful place to start for building good hygiene habits:

Toilet hygiene

Wash your hands after you use the restroom. Scrub with soap for 20 to 30 seconds, and be sure to clean between your fingers, on the back of your hands, and under your nails. Rinse with warm water, and dry with a clean towel.

If you don’t have running water or soap, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will also work. Use one that’s at least 60 percent alcohol.

Shower hygiene

Personal preference may dictate how often you wish to shower, but most people will benefit from a rinse at least every other day. Showering with soap helps rinse away dead skin cells, bacteria, and oils.

You should also wash your hair at least twice a week. Shampooing your hair and scalp helps remove skin buildup and protects against oily residues that can irritate your skin.

Nail hygiene

Trim your nails regularly to keep them short and clean. Brush under them with a nail brush or washcloth to rinse away buildup, dirt, and germs.

Tidying your nails helps you prevent spreading germs into your mouth and other body openings.

Teeth hygiene

Good dental hygiene is about more than just pearly white teeth. Caring for your teeth and gums is a smart way to prevent gum disease and cavities.

Brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes. Aim to brush after you wake up and before bed. If you can, brush after every meal, too. Floss between your teeth daily, and ask your dentist about using an antibacterial mouthwash.

These two steps can help prevent tooth decay and eliminate pockets where bacteria and germs can build up.

Sickness hygiene

If you’re not feeling well, you should take steps to keep from spreading germs to others. This includes covering your mouth and nose when sneezing, wiping down shared surfaces with an antibacterial wipe, and not sharing any utensils or electronics. Also, immediately throw away any soiled tissues.

Hands hygiene

Germs on your hands can easily enter your body through your mouth, nose, eyes, or ears. Wash your hands:

when you handle food

before you eat

if you handle garbage

when you sneeze

Any time you touch an animal and etc…

Likewise, wash your hands after changing a baby’s diaper, helping someone clean themselves, or when cleaning a cut or wound.

Side effects of poor personal hygiene

Good personal hygiene habits are directly related to less illnesses and better health. Poor personal hygiene habits, however, can lead to some minor side effects, like body odor.

For example, if you don’t wash your hands frequently, you can easily transfer germs and bacteria to your mouth or eyes. This can lead to any number of issues.

Not brushing your teeth can lead to teeth issues and plaque buildup.

Poor hygiene habits can also affect your self-esteem. Looking and feeling presentable can give you a confidence boost and a sense of pride in your appearance.

Other conditions may be prevented or the risk minimized by practicing good personal hygiene.

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