Fun Facts on Self Hygiene for Kids

By Erica Loop
Help your child to learn about keeping clean.
Help your child to learn about keeping clean.

While your little one might not particularly care if she is clean all -- or even some -- of the time, self hygiene is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. If you can't seem to convince your child to maintain her hygiene, a few fun facts can provide a light-hearted way to help her see why cleanliness is crucial.

Hand Washing

If you're looking for a self hygiene practice that won't just keep your child smelling nice, but will also help him to cut down on illness-causing germs, hand washing is the way to go. Whether your child balks at the idea of washing his hands each and every time he uses the bathroom or can't seem to remember that he needs to scrub up after sneezing, fun facts on this hygienic practice can encourage him to step up to the plate. Throw a few super stats his way that will make him say "Wow." For example, the Maine Medical Center notes that far more females than males actually wash up after using the restroom -- with half of men failing to wash their hands and only one-fourth of women. When your child says, "No, my hands look clean," remind him that he has between 2 and 10 million germs living between his fingertips and his elbows. Additionally, these viruses and bacteria can live for up to three hours on his unwashed hands.

Clean Towels

Whether your child is taking a shower, washing her hands or simply scrubbing her face, using a clean towel is a piece of the self hygiene puzzle that your child needs to consider. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a clean, disposable towel or air drying after washing, this isn't always practical. It's unlikely that your child will dry her entire body off with paper towels after showering. Instead of allowing her to pick up the damp towel balled up in the corner of her bedroom, give her a few facts on what that towel actually has on it. Although it may look clean, a bathroom towel can grow over 1 million germs in a matter of a few hours. That statistic alone should make her put down the dirty towel in favor of a clean one from the linen closet.

Hair Hygiene

Hair washing isn't only part of a beauty routine, it is also a self hygiene practice that can eliminate nasty germs, keep excess oil at bay and help your child's scalp to remain healthy. While an image-obsessed teen may want to wash his hair, some teens and younger kids may not really care about this aspect of personal hygiene. One interesting fact for kids about hair hygiene and washing is that the same hormones that cause pimples cause greasy hair. Additionally, hair hygiene for kids can also include the control of invaders such as lice. Although keeping clean won't always prevent your child from getting lice, the CDC recommends hygienic practices to control and prevent the spread of these unwanted critters. Fun facts for kids about lice include their size -- only between 2.1 and 3.3 mm -- and that they can't actually hop or fly like other bugs.

Body Odor

As kids move into puberty, body odor from excess sweating can become an issue. Self hygiene practices can help your child to decrease or eliminate foul odors. This includes bathing regularly, changing sweaty clothes and using a deodorant. Choose a few fun, and even historical, facts about BO and deodorant to make light of this smelly situation. According to the history pro's at the Smithsonian, a teen from Cincinnati in 1912 had the insight to try her doctor dad's antiperspirant hand product -- he wanted to keep his hands sweat-free during surgery -- under her arms. Naming her new product Odorono, she unsuccessfully tried to sell the deodorant forerunner door to door and in drugstores.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.