Guide to Personal Hygiene for Kids

It may be time for your child to gain a sense of independence and start tackling some hygiene tasks solo.

By Holly Pevzner



Guide to Personal Hygiene for Kids

Here’s what she can handle right now: 

At age 2
Nose blowing

“Ask your child to blow out through her mouth like she’s blowing out a birthday candle. Then, have her close her lips and blow through her nose,” says family physician Rallie McAllister, M.D., co-author of The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years.

At age 3
Bottom wiping

“Teach your child to wipe as soon as he learns to use the potty, but still do the initial wiping yourself,” says Betsy Brown Braun, author of Just Tell Me What to Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts for Perplexed Parents. Help him practice tearing off and folding sheets of toilet paper.

At age 6
Showering solo

“Some children crave a little privacy at this age,” says Dr. McAllister. Most 5- or 6-year-olds can wash themselves well—as long as a parent is on hand for safety. Keep pump-action soap and shampoo in the shower and install a handheld showerhead for easy rinsing.

At age 9
Applying deodorant

As your child reaches puberty, hormonal changes contribute to body odor. “Kids don’t need antiperspirant products, which reduce the skin’s ability to sweat,” says Dr. McAllister. “Opt for roll-ons and solids that are labeled ‘deodorant.’”

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Photo Credit: Scheller/PlainPicture

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