THE IMPORTANCE OF INSTILLING GOOD PERSONAL CARE HABITS IN YOUR CHILD

Hello Wotnot Community! My name is Shay, and I’m a family blogger from Grin Natural, passionate about encouraging parents to make good choices for their families and the earth. Some of these good choices include instilling personal care habits in your little one’s, as these habits will lay the foundation for healthy living from toddlerhood right into adulthood. It’s also important to couple personal care habits with natural, eco-friendly products that are safer for our family and better for the environment. Our choices today will affect their futures.

 We know we need to keep clean to kill germs and avoid getting sick, we need to protect our skin from the effects of sun damage, and we need to have effective oral care as this can impact the wellbeing of our entire body’s microbiome. Think back to habits that are now second nature to us as adults, like brushing our teeth, washing in the shower and eating our fruit and vegetables - these are all learned behaviours that become lifelong habits.

 So, let’s talk about some of these personal care everyday habits for toddlers:

 Washing Hands

Let’s start with hand washing. Now more than ever, hand washing needs to be a consistent daily practice for all families. Most germs spread through hand contact, so handwashing helps prevent your child and others from getting sick.  Encourage your child to wash their hands when they are dirty, before eating any meals or snacks, after blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing and after going to the bathroom - just to name a few. Using natural hand wash and hand sanitisers ensures your little one’s skin does not come into contact with any harsh chemicals.

 Bath time

Bath time can be the best part of your toddler’s day and a fun family bonding activity. Encourage your child to wash all parts of their little body’s and make sure they are fully dry before getting dressed. Practising regular cleanliness can help boost self-esteem and confidence and washes away germs and all the other fun bugs our toddlers may come into contact with when rolling around in the playground. Evening baths/showers are also a key component to an effective bedtime routine for your little one - and we know how precious the evening time is for parents. Wotnot’s 100% natural baby wash cleanses without removing your baby's natural oils and is free from any artificial fragrance, making it gentle on your baby’s delicate skin.

 UV Protection

Australia has some of the harshest levels of UV radiation in the world, and it’s key to remember, UV radiation can also be very high on cloudy/overcast days, not just on sunny days. Our children have very sensitive skin, and as parents, it’s our job to protect their skin from the severe effects of the sun. Some ways the Cancer Council Australia  recommend you can protect your little one’s skin are; make sure they’re wearing a wide brim hat when outdoors, seek shade where possible, slide on your sunglasses, avoid direct sun exposure between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, cover their skin in sun protective lightweight clothing and apply an all-natural sunscreen.  Wotnot 30 SPF Natural Sunscreen is highly effective and can be applied all over the body from as early as three months old.  It’s also toxin-free, reef-friendly, and highly moisturising to nourish and protect. It is essential to apply your sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun.

 Oral Care

Our mouths connect to our body and our mind. Poor oral hygiene can cause cavities, which lead to problems that stretch far beyond our mouths. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) and the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) have released a report showing three in four children consume too much sugar while one in three five- to six-year-olds had decay in their baby teeth. According to oral care expert Sarah Liebkemann, children with poor oral hygiene and cavities may have trouble sleeping, eating nutritious meals, focusing, speaking, and smiling. Children with tooth pain frequently act out, miss school, or struggle with confidence. Poor oral health can also increase the risk associated with a wide variety of health conditions. Teaching your child about oral health early in life will help them carry that good habit into adulthood.

 Parents can start their baby on an oral care routine from the first few weeks of life.  Begin by gently wiping their gums with a damp washcloth or use the Grin Natural finger brush, which also helps to soothe those sore, itchy gums when teething commences. Use the Kid’s biodegradable toothbrush and a rice-sized smear of natural toothpaste twice a day from the moment baby's first tooth appears in the mouth. Dentists recommend taking your baby to their first dental visit when their first tooth comes in or before their first birthday. And once two teeth are touching, it’s vital to begin flossing with Grin Natural’s biodegradable kid’s flossers to avoid impacts like tooth decay. According to the Australian Dental Association, 50% of Australian children under six suffer from tooth decay, and it’s easily preventable with good oral hygiene). Make dental care fun by playing dental games and reading dental books. Our smiles are diverse and unique like we are, so teach your child to love and value their smile!

 Keeping healthy and active

Eating healthy food and being consistently active is one of the best personal care habits you could instil in your toddler. Studies have shown that children who eat well and exercise regularly have a much better quality of sleep, and good sleep contributes to so much – overall health, a happy mood, healthy energy levels and much more. Healthy eating is consuming a reasonable amount of foods daily; vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, oils, and proteins. Have your little one’s assist with meal preparation; this makes it an enjoyable family activity and encourages toddlers to try new foods. Of course, a balanced approach is to serve a variety of foods in moderation; after all, an ice cream on a hot day is delicious for the whole family. And ensure water is always the go-to drink.

 Personal care habits can be implemented and practised together as a family every day. Encourage your toddlers to start their habits from a young age, making it much easier when they get older.

 References:

https://www.ada.org.au/

https://www.perthnow.com.au/community-news/melville-gazette/kids-urged-to-start-looking-after-teeth-early-to-avoid-disease-c-843941

https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-information/causes-and-prevention/sun-safety/about-sunscreen