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Back-to-School Tips For Parents: Hygiene Habits From A Pediatrician

Back-to-School Tips For Parents: Hygiene Habits From A Pediatrician

As the new school year kicks off, parents are gearing up to ensure their children have a successful and healthy academic journey. We're certain that parents are excited for their kids to enjoy fun classes and make new friends. However, it's also important not to overlook the significance of hygiene habits, which play a crucial role in keeping not only your child but also the kids around them healthy and protected from germs and diseases!

We had the privilege of sitting down with one of Doctor Anywhere's pediatricians, Dr. Irish Yumol-Mendoza, to gather expert advice on maintaining hygiene habits for a healthy school year.

What hygiene habits should parents teach their children?

According to Dr. Irish, there are several key hygiene habits that parents should encourage their children. “First of all, frequent hand washing is important. Teaching kids to wash their hands with soap and water for an adequate amount of time is vital,” shares Dr. Irish.

She also suggests using catchy songs as timers to make hand washing fun and effective.” It’s also important to teach your kids to wash all parts of their hands to ensure thorough cleanliness.”

Daily bathing is another non-negotiable habit that parents should instill in their children. “Despite the morning rush or chilly weather, regular bathing helps kids stay clean and energized throughout the day,” says Dr. Irish. “Additionally, maintaining oral hygiene by brushing teeth at least twice a day is crucial in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.”

How can parents help their kids understand why handwashing is important and make sure they do it regularly, especially at school?

Incorporating regular hand washing into a child's routine, especially during school hours, can be a challenge. Dr. Irish offers some practical advice for parents. “Children often learn by observing their parents, so leading by example is essential. Family handwashing before and after meals can establish this habit.”

To make the importance of handwashing resonate, parents can help children visualize the potential consequences of not washing their hands—educating them about the diseases that they can get. “By establishing handwashing as a habit at home, your kids are more likely to continue this practice at school,” says Dr. Irish.

Are there any hygiene habits that parents often forget but can help keep their kids healthy at school?

Dr. Irish sheds light on some hygiene aspects that parents might overlook but can make a significant difference. “Being prepared is key. Providing your child with extra clothes, handkerchiefs, and tissues in their bags ensures they're ready for any situation, such as getting dirty or when they need to sneeze.”

“Keeping nails clean and trimmed is equally important, as children tend to chew on their nails when bored, which can lead to health risks,” shares Dr. Irish.

A frequently overlooked aspect is allowing children to attend school even when they display symptoms such as colds or coughs. Dr. Irish strongly advises against this practice, as it can easily lead to the spread of illnesses among classmates.

Dr. Irish also has some tips for parents of teenagers. “As children enter their teenage years, new hygiene considerations emerge, so teenagers need to wear deodorant. Contrary to misconceptions, puberty is the right time to start using deodorant to maintain personal hygiene and prevent odors.”

How can parents make learning about hygiene fun and interesting for their kids?

Teaching kids about hygiene doesn't have to be a dull chore. “Incorporating songs into hand washing routines helps your child remember the proper duration. Educational videos and shows like Sesame Street can effectively illustrate hygiene practices in a fun and engaging manner,” shares Dr. Irish.

To motivate children, parents can also introduce a reward system according to Dr. Irish. “When your child performs hygiene tasks correctly, offering rewards reinforces the positive behavior. A reward system can motivate them to adopt these habits willingly.”

As parents, it's our responsibility to equip our children with the knowledge and practices they need to contribute to a healthier and safer school environment for their new friends and loving teachers. If you need medical advice and guidance for your child’s health, see a general practitioner 24/7 on-demand or appointment, or schedule an appointment with a pediatrician through the Doctor Anywhere app.

Get the free app on the App Store or Google Play Store to create an account for your child. In the absence of an ID, please use their birth certificate and the "Registry number" as their ID number.

To learn more about kid’s health issues and the support services that are available, visit

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