As a parent, you do not have an escape route when it comes to taking good care of your children. It can be hard sometimes going over the basics with them about the need for proper hygiene. Even at a very young age, children don’t want to be called untidy; they naturally become overly sensitive when being told these things. It becomes even more difficult when you have teens with “sweaty socks syndrome” or ones that are overly allergic to certain body lotions which might spur their sweat glands to over-secrete more body fluids.
Of a truth, sweaty feet are just a signal or warning of what is to come because as children grow older and hit puberty their hormones become very active and their hygiene requirements increase drastically. As a result of the sensitivity of the issue, some parents avoid discussing it with their children so as not to get them worked up or feel bad about walking around with their body odour. This can drastically dampen their self-confidence around their peers, among friends and even in class and this might hurt his psyche going forward.
Although children naturally outgrow it, parents need to do their bit to help their children overcome the stigma attached to having body odour as a result of sweaty armpits as well as sweaty feet. Hygiene related issues should not be taken lightly, as several illnesses could be contracted through it. Children are prone to developing scrawny looking skin, rashes, eczema, and so many other hygiene-related illnesses. So it’s expedient for parents to sit down with their kids and have a long talk about why they need to cultivate good hygiene patterns, how you can give your preteen daughter responsibility for her personal hygiene.
So where do you start? How do you make them see the need for proper hygiene even when they are too young to see the need for it without them nagging, kicking or complaining? Here are a few tips you need:
Most kids at a very early age scientifically do not need to shower every day but immediately they reach puberty, it becomes essential for them to bath and shower more frequently. At this stage, they should be instructed to wash their face more, their hands, feet, armpits, buttocks, groins as well as their fingernails because so many germs stay hidden in them for so long. They should make use of mild soaps and soft sponges as well because soaps and sponges with hard or rough surface might cause injuries to sensitive parts of their body.
Washing their hair
The hair is also a very important part of the body that needs nutrients, proper care, proper washing to combat greasy, oily deposits in the body to avoid acne and pimples outbreak on the face. All these be discussed with teens in a very interesting and educative manner, with the absence chiding them or make fun of what they look like when they don’t take care of their hair. In some way, that might help children to sit up and take your instructions to adopt proper hygienic patterns.
Changing of Clothes as needed
Kids at a young age get away with wearing the same clothes or shirt, same underwear, or their favourite socks repeatedly. Once a child hits puberty that just won’t work! Let them know they won’t get a free pass to do that, they need to cultivate showering, wearing clean clothes each day, which is important to make them feel, smell nice and be healthy. Parents also need to reduce the number of cotton clothes they have because it absorbs sweat better than other materials.
Kids at a young age rarely have serious acne skin outbreaks, especially kids at the age of 10, but it’s good to start early with instructing and teaching them to wash their face at all times. Never allow them to use any rough clothing or materials for cleaning their face, a simple wash would do to avoid skin irritation or cracking of the skin.
Maintaining Good Oral Health
Teens can become complacent with taking good care of their teeth; this is why parents need to be observant of things such as bad breath and yellowing of teeth. Aside from this, what do they eat? What kind of drinks do they take? Especially if they are drinking coffee, sugary, acidic sodas and sports drink, then you are to pay close attention to the maintenance of good oral health.
No child wants to have bad breath. As a parent you need to leverage on this to your advantage to get them to cooperate with you. Inculcate good oral habits which would make them like seeing their teeth white, clean, strong and healthy and motivate them to continue doing so.
Understanding the body
Good hygiene education is not complete without knowledge of how the body works; this is more reason why parents need to dwell on this to orient their children on topics relating to puberty. Girls need to know about breast development and menstruation, just as boys need to know about wet dreams and erections. Don’t dilly-dally around such topics; there are mild approaches to educating them about such sensitive parts of their bodies. A few of those approaches include giving them necessary information about puberty, menstruation, buying books which can enlighten them about the need for hygienic habits as regard their private organs.
Parents can’t be bystanders when it comes to the health and hygiene of children, because bad hygiene in children would rub off on the entire family either in school, church or anywhere. It would send a skewed message to be people that such parents are not doing their jobs well enough and need to redouble their efforts. Hygiene is for all and parents must lead by example, so their children would naturally take after such principles.