Brushing teeth and hair, washing hands, using the toilet, blowing the nose... It’s not always easy to teach children the rules for proper hygiene.
The Mustela Foundation offers parents some tools designed to help: practical tips as well as an interactive game to play with the child.

Teaching the rules for
personal hygiene

The Mustela Foundation offers these recommendations for teaching your child about personal hygiene:

Brushing teeth

Brushing your teeth regularly is essential for healthy teeth. Children should be taught to brush their teeth from the age of two to three years onward, since baby teeth also need to be taken care of! 
It is important to be aware that decay is irreversible: even if it can be prevented from progressing and a decayed tooth can be filled, the tooth is permanently more fragile as a result.
  • Keep telling your child that they must brush their teeth twice a day (the “three-times-a-day” rule has changed and is no longer up-to-date!)
  • Explain to your child that regular brushing is necessary to keep their teeth looking nice and healthy, to prevent decay and also to freshen their breath. It is a healthy habit that they must adopt in their daily lives and one they must keep up all their lives.
  • Teach them to brush their teeth morning and evening: in the morning before going to school (after breakfast) and in the evening before going to bed. Children should never be given a bottle with sugary water or milk during the night.

Washing hands

Washing your hands is an essential daily habit that reduces the risk of illness and prevents passing on germs to other people. 
Do not forget to help your child wash his hands until he learns to do so by himself.
  • To wash your hands, of course, you need soap (solid or liquid); water alone doesn’t clean!
  • In practice, the different steps to be followed to wash your hands are:
    • Wet your hands
    • Apply soap
    • Work up a lather, rub the backs of the hands, palms and between the fingers for at least 30 seconds, if possible 
    • Rinse your hands with clean water
    • Dry your hands on a towel
  • Teach children the situations in which they must always wash their hands. That way, you will create healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
    • After going to the toilet, after playing with animals, after coming home from school, after playing in the sandpit or the park
    • Before eating
    • And, of course, every time their hands get dirty.

Bath/shower time

Bathing (or showering) is an essential part of your child’s hygiene.
A bath or shower should generally be taken once a day and with no particular set time, as suits you or the nanny: in the morning (if your child is not at school) or the evening, and the time may vary from day to day.

Blowing the nose

You can teach your child to blow their nose from the age of two, although they may not learn very quickly because it can be quite tricky for them. 
Your child will then gradually come to understand that if his nose is blocked or runny, he needs to blow it in order to clear it.
It is important to teach him to blow one nostril at a time by blowing first on one side and then on the other (in either order), and then, of course, to throw the tissue in the trash.

Brushing your hair

Combing your hair is part of your child’s daily grooming, not just for the sake of appearance but because it promotes healthy hair.
Brushing improves the appearance of your hair, helps keep it in good condition, takes care of it, removes any dust and helps to untangle it.
Naturally, brushing your hair does not replace washing it, which ensures your scalp as well as your hair is clean and doesn't change hair color!
Help your child make hair brushing part of his or her daily routine: in the morning before going to school and in the evening after bathing.

Game "Mum, Dad, teach me to be clean"

Does your child object to washing his hands or brushing his teeth?  The Mustela Foundation offers a game to teach children the basic rules of bodily hygiene.