Proper hygiene for toddlers


Hygiene can be explained as the practices that prevent the spread of disease-causing organisms. Knowing very well that toddlers do not have the knowledge or skills to develop good personal hygiene habits on their own, parents and caregivers should be of help in maintaining proper hygiene (Brown et al. 2013). In this manner, they shall be teaching toddlers the best ways of developing hygiene habits. As a result, toddlers stay healthy, ward off illnesses and with better-built self-awareness. There are different types of hygiene which can help toddlers from contracting bacteria causing illness and diseases, developing a healthy body image and the increase of their confidence and self- image.

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Food hygiene

It’s true that toddlers do not depend only on their mother’s breast milk but also feed on cooked food and fruits. Therefore, it’s advisable for caregivers not to purchase perishable foods at places that are not well organized, air-conditioned, and have appropriate equipment like refrigerators (Huffman, & Martin, 2014). They should also avoid direct contact with fruits and vegetables with other food products. Running water tap should be used to wash the fruits and vegetables until the gross debris is removed.

Thorough washing of utensils and cutting boards that come across raw vegetables, fish, meat and poultry should be done using scrubber sponge and rinsed well with hot water as well as air-dried. This prevents the growth of bacteria that remain on the cutting board. If non-disposal drying towels are used, they should be regularly washed. In this case, pathogenic bacteria will have no place for growth hence preventing diseases (Huffman, & Martin, 2014).

For the nursing mothers, it should be a routine to place a warm, wet towel over your breasts and nipples for a few minutes before breastfeeding. This clears away any form of sweat and makes it healthier for the toddler. In addition, all plastic containers and bands used to give water and milk to the toddler should be regularly boiled in water after use. After caregivers practice, this, the spread of infections and diseases that damage the digestive tract, respiratory tract, and the external features of the body will be minimal.

Nail hygiene

Mostly, the first sign of a health problem in toddlers shows up in nails. The crumble and fall off of nails with dark streak proofs everything. For one to ensure proper nail hygiene, toddler’s socks should always be clean and dry before dressing them. This promotes the foot health status thereby preventing toenail infections (Allegranzi et al. 2013). Fitting shoes should never be bought for toddlers. Parents and caregivers should buy shoes with plenty of room for toes putting in mind that cramped toes result in painful toenails which affect the health of a toddler.

The tearing off of the hanging of skin on the nails should be discouraged as it can cause infection. Before trimming the toddler’s nails, bath him/her to soften them and use a nail clipper or nail scissors to trim. Remember to avoid cutting or pushing back of cuticles for they protect the nail root. Lastly, toddler’s hands should be dried up regularly after a shower to prevent infection that develops on wet nails.

Bathing and hand washing hygiene

Lukewarm temperature water is recommended for toddler’s bath. Although some kids dry out skin when bathed daily, it’s advised for toddlers to briefly bath daily for a period of 5 to 10 minutes (Allegranzi et al. 2013). Non-soap cleansers are considered the best and caregivers advised to wash the child with their hands rather than a washcloth. It’s also said that it would be better if they use the soap at the end of the bath, not the beginning. During the last touches, the child should be rinsed with warm fresh water for soap removal. Playing in the basin when the water is soapy is not healthy for the kids. It’s also healthy to apply nourishing ointments while the skin is wet. The conditions above favors both sensitive and non-sensitive skins for toddlers.

Hand washing should not only be done by the kids but also by their caregivers especially after changing their diapers. Warm wet and fresh towel with soap should be used to wash the toddler’s hands specifically on a running water tap or dish (Allegranzi et al. 2013). This helps one to do away with bacteria which are transferred from hands to mouth, nose, eyes and even ears. Washing of toddlers hands should be regularly after every activity the child does. For example, during potty training, before and after meals, after playing with pets, other children and even before bedtime as they often put their hands into their mouths. If the toddlers get used to hand washing hygiene, they will able to prevent developing threadworms which are a threat to their health.

Household hygiene

The degree of cleanness of a house and the surrounding compound also determines the rate at which germs are spread. The floor should always be cleaned with disinfectant liquid to prevent the growth of pathogens bacterial which results in dangerous diseases like diarrhea (Brown et al. 2013). Ever growing child must crawl making it easy to spread bacteria from floor to her body senses. This threatens the health of a toddler forcing the caregivers to clean the house thoroughly; hence the stage is unstoppable.

Again, the manner in which waste is handled can determine the spread of germs as it can be quickly spread through cockroaches, rats, mice, flies, fruit peelings, food scraps and waste-water (Brown et al. 2013). If the waste can be handled accordingly, the chances of low hygiene automatically diminish.



Allegranzi, B., Sax, H., & Pittet, D. (2013). Hand hygiene and healthcare system change within multi-modal promotion: a narrative review. Journal of Hospital Infection83, S3-S10.

Brown, J., Cairncross, S., & Ensink, J. H. (2013). Water, sanitation, hygiene and enteric infections in children. Archives of disease in childhood98(8), 629-634.

Huffman, S. L., & Martin, L. H. (2014). First feedings: optimal feeding of infants and toddlers. Nutrition research14(1), 127-159.

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