Teaching children good hygiene habits starts from home and whosoever is around them. Good personal hygiene for our children goes a long way to boosts their confidence by dealing with basic issues like bad breath, body odor amongst Others.
A major part of the reason why hygiene is important for our kids is to help prevent them from getting sick.
HSENations in an interview with Queenette Enilama, a Child-Hygiene expert enlighten parents on the importance of children focused hygiene.
Can We Meet You?
My name is QueenetteItsemheEnilama. I’m from old Bendel literarily, because my dad is from Edo state and my mum is from Delta State. I am the founder of the “No Boy Left Behind Initiative” – a tutor, voice-over specialist, emotional intelligence professional, and the author of two books thus far, and several online stories.
What’s Your Take On Children Hygiene?
I think children’s hygiene could be better. I think that there should be a collective effort to educate children better on the concept of sanitary living, the perks of being clean and fresh and the severe downsides of bad hygiene, both physical and psychological.
Are Parents Doing Enough On Children Hygiene?
I believe parents try their best and want to do more. I cannot imagine any parent not being concerned about their child/children’s hygiene habits, unless those parents suffer from bad hygiene themselves, and have become comfortable with it and complacent.
Using Lagos as a case study, you could see another segment of parents emerge. Those who are simply swamped and overrun by the rat race that is Lagos life. Parents who are up and out to work before their kids rise up in the morning, and are back from work late enough, that the kids have gone to bed already.
It’s very easy in this setting to lose track of the goals you want for your child’s hygiene practice. I’m not saying these parents are to be blamed. Some of them actually put in the extra and intentional effort as much as they can to ensure that the children’s hygiene standards are up to par or not suffering as much. It’s not an easy task, especially dealing with children who are constantly evolving on a daily basis, and giving parents little or no time to catch up.
What Are The Appropriate Measures To Be Taken In Terms Of Checkmating Children’s Hygiene?
In the absence of the scenario I just described above, it takes task setting, training, practice and continuous checks, on the part of the parents and other caregivers to ensure children stay hygienic. Everyone has a part to play, whether it’s at home, school, church, mosque, playground, hospital, relatives houses etc. While the parents act as the primaries, the village must be the assistant.
Could You Give Us Tips On Children’s Hygiene?
My first tip would be to start early. What you permit from the early becomes tradition. Next, create a checklist for hygienic practices. Then, make it routine. Children get use to what they have to do regularly, it becomes default nature to them.
Finally, incentives never hurt anyone; motivate them to maintain their hygiene routine with some incentives. You won’t do it for long, but the effects will be longlasting.
I have a book already published (The Body Buddy). It has everything you need to know about your child’s hygiene regiment.
What Is The Role Of Schools And Government In Children’s Hygiene?
Schools and government form a section of the village committee I spoke of earlier, and a large section at that because apart from home, children spend the most other time in school. They actually spend some of their most active hours in school. Schools must as a matter of principle have standard hygiene and sanitary policy encompassing personal hygiene and environmental hygiene. School is is a place of learning, so it should be included in the learning curriculum, and not just as a one-off topic discussed in a few lessons in one subject or the other.
Schools can really go in-depth to sensitize children on the benefits and need for staying clean and sanitary.
Government control policies can have a profound impact on hygiene in public places and schools if they choose too. Presently, we have few or next to none public restrooms from my observation where people can relieve themselves, and the ones in most government establishments are not worthy of being called restrooms, more like stress-rooms. Imagine if there was a public health department for encouraging and enabling healthy practices and not just one that seeks.
Children’s hygiene is a priority, not an option, Hands must be on deck to advocate for this.