Hand and Nail Hygiene for your Child
Hand care and hygiene
Washing hands is the most important aspect of hand care that you can teach your child. It is considered as one of the best ways to prevent infection and spread of germs. Children learn by seeing or watching. Wash your hands often with them so that they learn how to wash well and get the message that it is an important and good habit.
- Preferably use liquid soap to wash hands as it is not exposed to germs on hands and in air as bar soap. Teach you child to wash his or her hand for a minimum of 15 to 20 seconds. You can ensure that your child spends enough time in washing by teaching them to the "Happy Birthday" tune twice (two verses take approximately 15 seconds).
- Ensure that while washing hands your child makes the soap lather and scrubs his or her hand using friction for a minimum of 15 to 20 seconds. Remind your child to wash under the cuticles, the fingernails, between the fingers and the back of the hands.
- Teach your child to rinse the hands well with water and dry with a clean towel. Teach them to dry in between the fingers as well.
- Teach your child not to touch the faucets or handles of the bathroom doors directly after washing hands, especially in public bathrooms. Make them use tissue or paper towel to turn off faucets and on door handles.
- Give your child a hand sanitizer gel or germicidal hand gel to clean hands when water and soap are not available.
- Teach your child to wash hands properly after going to the washroom, before and after eating and drinking, and touching and preparing food.
Nail care and hygiene
Nails on the fingers and toes can be considered as protective caps of your finger and toe tips. The hands and feet are the most commonly used organs in your body and they are very likely to get contaminated and injured.
Your nails tell a lot about your overall health and habits. This makes it important that you care well for them and keep them clean and shapely.
Important thing that you need to teach your child about nail care is to modify the bad habits like -
- Chewing and biting nail.
- Keeping long nails
- Keeping nails in water for too long and hands wet for long
- Use of nails while using computer key board. Teach them to type with the tip of the fingers and not nail tips.
Nails are exposed to the environment and this makes them prone to infections. When you use hands to eat the bacteria accumulated on the nails and the nail bed are transmitted to mouth and stomach. This makes it essential that you teach your children about the importance of nail hygiene.
Measures to maintain nail hygiene are
- Cut your child’s nails regularly as bacteria accumulate under long nails.
- Teach your child to wash and scrub under the cuticles and the finger nails before eating, eating, or touching food for preparing. Tell them to wash after touching pets, garbage, after sneezing or coughing etc.
- Teach your child to pat hands and finger nails dry using a soft towel.
- Pay attention to your child’s toe nails as well. Cut them to keep the nails small and teach your child to wash feet thoroughly daily and apply moisturizer.
- Cut the nails straight across and not too short. If the nails are cut short it can result in ingrowing toe nails.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Feb 04, 2013
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