This may be a topic that we may always put aside. We may take it for granted that we all practise hygiene. When it comes to this subject, no-one is a master. We all are still learning. It, therefore, does us good to teach every member of our household, including children, hygiene practices. With help from different sources, Dumase Zgambo-Mapemba writes:-
They say kuongola mtengo nkulinga uli waungâ€™ono. So, issues of hygiene are supposed to be instilled in children as young as babies. Considering that babies put everything in the mouth, watching them and frequently discouraging this behaviour will instill some sense of cleanliness in them.
Benefits of good hygiene?
Hand washing â€“ prevents spread of germs and disease. We need to emphasize this to our house help and kids. If the latter are used to frequently washing hands before and after eating and after using the toilet, they will practise the same at school. Applying soap and rubbing all over the hands for at least 20 seconds.
Donâ€™t forget between fingers and thumbs and finger tips. Keep finger nails clean and short.
Discourage them from using unclean hand towels or towels in public toilets. Otherwise gastro intestinal bugs (diarrhoea and vomiting) from poor hand washing techniques will be order of the day.
Menstrual hygiene â€“ Changing tampons and sanitary towels every four hours during menstruation and washing at least daily prevents body odour, infection, skin irritation and a rare but dangerous bacterial disease called Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Oral hygieneâ€“ is vital to prevent bad breath, gum disease and dental carries. Ensure you brush just before bed to prevent build up of plaque.
Washing underwear â€“ teach them while they are young not to pile underwear. They need to wash it the moment they take it off before bathing. Provide laundry soap for them in the bathroom. Boys or girls the practice is the same.
Teach them to arrange the room properly and wipe away dust and dirt. Everyday habits of the children are to be monitored by the parents.