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Teaching Kids Good Hand Washing and Hygiene Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

2 min read

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, more and more information is coming to light about what we can do to stop it. For everyday citizens, the simple answer is to stay isolated and healthy.

Most of us are staying home with the kids and trying to venture into the world as little as possible, but there are valid reasons to leave. People still need groceries and medication, pets still need to go to the vet, and many parents still need daycare services. There’s no getting around venturing out into the world, so the next best thing is to practice good hygiene. That starts with washing hands.

While most of us adults are pretty thorough when it comes to hand-washing, we’ve all seen how well some of our kids do it—a quick half-lather, hurried rinse and a wipe on the shirt. This isn’t going to cut it with a pandemic going around!

Here’s a quick guide to hand washing from the CDC that every parent should go over with their kids while we’re in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Try to get kids to memorize every step, so it becomes habit:

Handwashing isn’t the only important hygiene practice parents should be teaching their kids right now. This is a prime time to talk to your kids about personal hygiene—especially if they’re getting into their pre-teen years. Some of the other conversations parents should be having with kids include:

  • Teeth brushing and flossing. Oral health is important for overall health! Kids with good teeth-brushing habits are also less likely to catch certain viruses. Teach the importance of brushing twice each day, for two full minutes each time.
  • Showering and bathing habits. A clean body is a happy body! Kids should be aware of the need for proper bathing habits and recognize the importance of daily personal grooming. Good habits at a young age lead to cleaner, healthier teens and adults!
  • Nail and hair care. Kids get all kinds of things under their fingernails and in their hair. Now’s a great time to teach kids proper nail trimming habits and hair washing. It may seem simple—and it is—but it’s important for good personal hygiene.
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette. Cough and sneeze into the crook of the arm. Kids are notorious for coughing and sneezing into their hands, sleeves and anything else nearby. Now, more than ever, good cough and sneeze etiquette is important.

For lots of kids (and their parents), hygiene and grooming are run-of-the-mill things. It’s important to remember why. What better time than a pandemic? Use COVID-19 as a backdrop for reinforcing good hygiene and grooming habits with your kids.

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