Teach Your Kids These 6 Healthy Hygiene Habits

Updated on October 5, 2020

Personal hygiene is important for children. Each day, kids come into contact with millions of germs and viruses. They can stay on the body and – in some cases – make them ill. Practicing good personal hygiene can help little ones stay healthy and ward off diseases.

Parents should begin teaching their children healthy hygiene habits as early as possible. Once kids understand the importance of self-care, they’ll form habits that will last a lifetime.

Here are healthy habits you should teach your kids:

Oral Hygiene

Clean gums and teeth can ward off an array of oral problems, such as tooth decay, cavities and bad breath. So get your little one in the habit of brushing their teeth at least twice a day. You can teach your child the value of oral hygiene between the ages of two and six. Show your child how to wet the toothbrush, squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, brush teeth using a circular motion, rinsing the mouth with water.

If your little one feels hesitant or apprehensive about tooth brushing, let them try it out for themselves. You could also encourage them to brush their teeth by singing a song or letting them choose a cool or pretty toothbrush.

Flossing is just as important as brushing the teeth. Once your child has developed excellent motor skills, show them how to properly use dental floss. Then, check if they’re doing it properly.

On top of regular brushing and flossing, you need to make appointments with a friendly and experienced pediatric dentist. Explain to your little one that you’re visiting the dentist to keep their pearly whites healthy and beautiful – just like their smile. 

Proper Handwashing

Hand hygiene is incredibly important during the ongoing global pandemic. Yet, not many kids know how to wash their hands properly. A survey done by the Global Hygiene Council revealed that nearly half of children ages five to ten aren’t using soap to clean their hands at school. During these difficult times, you need to instill the habit of correct handwashing by explaining the importance of this activity.

When teaching your child, use terms that are easy to understand. You could explain it like this: “Washing your hands gets rid of the germs and dirt that can make you sick.” Then, reinforce this teaching by reminding your child on occasions where they should wash their hands.

A few examples include:

  • Playing in the sandbox
  • Blowing his nose with his hands
  • Touching an unclean surface
  • Playing outside

Remind your little one by saying: “You were playing baseball outside. Let’s get your hands clean by washing away all the dirt and germs.”

Next, show the proper handwashing technique. Turn on the faucet, use the soap dispenser, lather the soap on your hands (including the fingers), and do this for at least 20 seconds. Then, rinse and dry your hands.

Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette

When your child is at home, take the time to teach your young one how to cover their cough or sneeze using their elbow, as well as how to use a tissue to clean up the snot, booger, and phlegm. Keep reminding your child until they develop this habit. You could say: “Cough (or sneeze) the germs into your elbow.” Then, take your child to the sink and get them to wash their hands and elbows.

Throwing the Trash Properly

Children who don’t how what to do with the used tissue and other garbage will likely leave the trash where they are and head off to do something else. This, however, allows germs and viruses to spread inside your home.

Instead of constantly cleaning up after your kids, teach them how to throw their trash properly. Show your little one how to place used tissues and other garbage into the bin. Let them know that used napkins and other trash can spread nasty germs that make people ill.


Kids either love the bath or hate it. If your child dislikes the idea of taking a bath, make the activity fun for them. Have your little one wear a bathing suit and gently place them in the bathtub filled with warm and soapy water. Then, add toys to the bath to make the activity more entertaining.

Underarm Care

Sweat turns into body odor at different ages, but this process often begins around the ages of nine or ten. When you discover your little one’s body odor, talk to them about the importance of washing their arms after sports practice. You could also show them how to use an antiperspirant and deodorant. These products will help control bacteria in the underarms and reduce sweating that contributes to body odor.

When teaching your children these six hygiene habits, be a good role model. Your kids will most likely follow these habits when you apply them yourself.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.