Teaching children proper hygiene is an obligation little understood by parents. Parents are unclear on how to talk to their children about this sensitive and extremely critical issue. Hygiene forms an important criterion throughout their lives with a role in relationships, work and function in society.

Some suggestions given to parents for teaching proper hygiene to their children are as follows:

Tip #1: Teach by practice. Parents are advised to wash their hands after using restroom, taking out garbage and before preparing meals. Since children learn by watching their parents, leading by example underlines the importance of showering, brushing their teeth and keeping clean in children.

Tip #2: Use the alphabet technique. Children sing their ABC's when washing their hands with warm soapy water.

Tip #3: Create a nightly children's cleaning ritual. Parents have to teach basic hygiene to young children like washing their face and hands and brushing their teeth. A nightly bath is a necessity for older children who get dirty. Younger children need not bathe or shower during the night.

Tip #4: Have puberty discussions. Parents will have to discuss puberty issues like sweating and hair growth in underarms and genital areas. Purchase deodorant for your sons and daughters. When girls menstruate, they have to be taught to use tampons and pads.

Tip #5: Emphasize clean clothing. Socks and underwear has to be washed every day. Dirty socks and soiled underwear can cause athletes foot and bladder infections respectively.

Tip #6: Have a dentist teach children the right way to brush their teeth. An electronic toothbrush can help the child move from one section to another by beeping every 30 seconds.

Tip #7: Parents have to become more comfortable of their own body, and encourage children to ask them questions on this topic. A child's comfort level at discussing the importance of cleaning their body is directly related to the parent’s degree of comfort with his/her body because parents will have to provide direct answers.

Tip #8: Parents should avoid embarrassment issues while showing their children the proper way to wipe after using the restroom. Both girls and boys should wipe thoroughly after a bowel movement. Young girls should definitely wipe from front to back because they are more susceptible to bladder infections. Children can be provided with most disposable wipes for cleaning their genital region.