Children pick up germs, dirt and even lice from other children. Here’s how you can ensure that your children are clean and germ-free.

One of the biggest struggles in the life of a parent is to inculcate simple but effective hygiene habits in the lives of their children. Don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying that children like to be dirty. It’s just that they make their peace with dirt and dust much faster than adults do, and it may take a while for them to understand that keeping themselves clean is important so that they do not fall ill or develop infections.

Consider these key habits in ensuring the hygiene of your kid:

Enforce the practice of washing hands and feet after coming home. There can be no compromise on this rule – every member of the house MUST wash their hands with antibacterial hand wash upon returning home. Let your children see you wash your hands and feet every time you return home, and they will also imbibe this habit by themselves. Your children will love using the fragrant and effective Dettol Liquid Handwash. Some children have a habit of coming home and immediately switching on the TV or playing in their room without changing their clothes or washing their hands. Make it a rule that your children cannot do anything – play, eat, sleep – unless they wash their face, hands and feet first. If your children are muddy from play, insist on them to take a shower.

Cut their fingernails and toenails regularly. A lot of dirt is trapped inside the fingernails. And it is ingested by your children every time they use their hands for a meal. Maintain the practice of cutting their fingernails and toenails every week (most children grow nails really fast), even if they protest! Some mothers perform covert ops as far as cutting their children’s nails is concerned – they do it quietly when the child is asleep!

Check for lice infestations. A key area of maintaining good hygiene of kids is to check their hair for lice infestations. This is a common problem among young children and close proximity to other children compounds the infestation quickly. Lice abound in the hair of children especially in sweaty summer days and during the muggy monsoon season. Keep a close watch on nits in your child’s hair or be alert for signs of too much scratching or complaints of itching. If there is a lice problem, wash your child’s hair with lice shampoo and comb out the wet hair to get the lice and nits out.

Children clothes must be washed separately. Your child will get really sweaty and dirty while playing outdoors. Maintain a practice of washing your child’s clothes separately from the rest of the laundry load. Use a mild disinfectant soap and air dry the clothes. If necessary, you can steam the clothes dry and place moth balls and silica packets in the clothes cupboard to keep the garments fresh.

Teach your child to use hand sanitisers and wipes. Pack your child’s school bag with an extra box containing Dettol Multi-use hand wipessanitiser and tissue paper. Most flu and cold viruses are transmitted via the hands, so using a hand sanitiser after meals is a HEALTHY key practice in the hygiene of kids. Also instruct them on not using another child’s discarded wipes or kerchief.