At 4 or 5, your child is still young enough that you need to take primary responsibility for her personal hygiene. However, it’s important for your child to start developing the good hygiene habits that will help her stay clean and healthy.
Although they can have fun in the tub for a bit, your child still needs help in the bath or shower, but it’s not too early to teach her how to clean herself effectively and which parts of her body to focus on during bathtime.
At this age, your kid should be able to use the toilet on her own, but teaching him or her how to wipe after can become a major feat. Make certain that he or she knows how to wipe effectively and emphasize how important it is to do so. Young girls, especially, can be prone to infections if they do not wipe well after urinating.
ALWAYS wash your hands
Make sure that your child understands the importance of washing hands and the connection between cleanliness and staying healthy. It’s important not to rely too much on hand sanitizers and instead, make sure your child knows how to wash her hands well with soap and water. Teach her to wash her hands for about 15 seconds, or about as long as it takes to sing the ABC song fairly quickly. Teach your child to wash hands after using the bathroom, before eating, before and after handling or preparing food, after coming in from outside, after blowing her nose or sneezing into her hand, before and after visiting sick friends or relative, before touching very young babies, after touching garbage, and after touching cats, dogs, and other animals.
Also, teach your child to sneeze or cough, not into her hand, but into the crook of her arm. As hard as it may be, teach your child not to pick her nose or bite her nails.
Make sure your child understands the connection between good hygiene and good health. Explain the importance of not sharing drinking containers and straws, for example, with other kids at school. This will avoid lots of trips to the doctor, and provide a healthier, better environment for the entire family. Stay clean!