Personal Hygiene for Kids
At Wet Ones, we firmly believe that mess and stress needn’t go hand in hand. We can all pick up some tips from our kids in this area – after all, little ones love nothing better than getting messy. What kind of walk in the park isn’t improved by having a few muddy puddles to jump in?
That positive attitude to life’s little messes is something that seems to fade with age – but the right approach to personal hygiene stays around for life. While being free to get sticky fingers and mucky clothes helps children to experience and understand the world as they discover it, it’s important to make sure their attitude to hygiene is developed from the earliest stage possible.
While a trusty pack of Wet Ones will help kids to keep exploring, personal hygiene for children is about more than quick cleanups. It’s inextricably linked with overall health – both physical and emotional – and with the social development that will equip them for life. After a strange few months of home schooling, it’s more important than ever to get kids into safe hygiene habits as they begin to return to normality for the new school year.
How does hygiene help early learning?
Keeping on top of mess frees up time to explore and enjoy our surroundings at any age. But for children, it has a lasting impact because it’s tied so closely to their education. Not only does having good personal hygiene help kids to feel positive about themselves and confident at school, but it supports subject areas they’ll cover like science and food prep.
The healthy decisions they’ll make all the way through life are rooted in good habits developed early – both at home and in the classroom. The sooner your little one decides that staying clean is just as much fun as getting messy, the better!
How does learning help early hygiene?
Guidance from Public Health England says that children in nurseries and schools should be taught proper handwashing technique – something that’s proved especially crucial during the coronavirus pandemic. But while practice in the classroom can only be a good thing, lifelong learning is underpinned at home. Leading by example (like always washing your own hands before preparing food) makes a big difference, and you should encourage your little one to ask questions about why we need to keep clean.
Getting them to speak up at moments when hygiene is important (going to the toilet, sneezing, touching food) is also a great way to forge long-term good habits, and involving children in routines like washing and drying clothes helps them understand the bigger picture around cleanliness.
Talking to kids about personal hygiene
How many times a day does your little one ask you a question? Kids’ in-built curiosity means there are plenty of opportunities daily to steer the conversation towards cleanliness. Before they go back to school (or start school for the first time), where hygiene is going to be higher on the agenda than ever before, take the time to familiarise them with its importance.
For young children, day-to-day basic hygiene covers things like brushing their teeth, washing their hands, taking baths and covering their mouths when they cough – so use these moments to have a discussion about bacteria, infections and why being clean helps keep others safe too. There are hundreds of brilliant children’s picture books tackling topics around hygiene, meaning that bedtimes can be another chance for learning good practice.
Using Wet Ones is also a great chance to chat about cleanliness while you’re out and about. So whether it’s a trip to the playground, an adventure on the bus or a picnic in the park – you’ve always got a conversation starter in your pocket! Take these moments to help your little one understand why wet wipes are useful not only for cleaning up mess but protecting yourself against bacteria.
Sensory play and hygiene
It’s now understood better than ever why sensory play is a crucial part of education and early years development. Getting hands-on helps kids not only to understand the world around them but to feel connected to it and confident in it.
A simple bowl of warm soapy water can be just as effective at this as a pile of colourful plasticine or a set of finger paints, meaning that handwashing and washing up can become part of play time in themselves. And for children with sensory difficulties who don’t like getting their hands wet and soapy, Wet Ones are a great alternative for keeping them mess-free (and you stress-free!).