20 Hygiene Habits Parents Teach Their Kids (And Why They're Wrong)

Being clean and having good hygiene is important — parents know this. Therefore, they want to make sure that they instill good hygiene habits into their children. This starts when they are really young and it can include anything from body hygiene, to how to keep a clean house.

However, most of our hygiene skills comes from what we were taught by our parents. We grew up watching how our mom and dad handled the cleaning, and we go on to teach our children the same rules. Time passes and things change, and the hygiene habits that people are doing are all kinds of wrong. That is simply because it has been passed down from generations.

Research changes constantly and experts are always finding new and better ways to do things. Ways that get things cleaner. They also are figuring out the things we are doing wrong; the ways parents are cleaning their bodies and homes that are actually harming them.

We are going to go over 20 hygiene habits that all parents think they are doing right, but they are actually doing totally wrong.

Spoiler alert: sometimes there are such things as being too clean and it can be more harmful than beneficial.

20 You're Not Scrubbing Long Enough


The most basic hygiene habit is washing our hands. It is the first rule that is instilled into our heads. We are told that washing our hands is the best way to make sure that we do not get sick. We wash our hands before we cook, after we go to the bathroom, and periodically throughout the day. It is the part of our bodies that we clean the most. This would make it surprising to know that we are doing it wrong.

First of all, we can ditch the antibacterial soap. Research has shown that it is no better at removing germs than regular soap. You want to work up a lather and scrub for at least 20 seconds before you rinse. This is much longer than most people normally wash their hands for. The time is important because that is how long it takes to make sure that all the germs are removed from our hands.

19 Surprise! We Should Not Teach Our Children To Share


We have always thought it was good to teach our children to share. We encourage them to share with their friends and that ‘sharing is caring.’ This is true, but there are always things that they should not share, and it is important to make it very clear to our children the difference about what they can and can not share.

Children should be taught never to share their hairbrush, hat, toothbrush or any of their hygienic property. Head lice is a problem in schools and sharing things like hairbrushes and hats is the best way to transfer it from person to person. Of course, anything that goes in their mouth should never be shared, as the transfer of bacteria is very possible.

18 Clean Those Ears (But, Properly)!


Ears can be the one part of our body that is missed when we have a shower or a bath. A lot of people leave cleaning their ears until after they are out. They will also reach for their favorite ear-cleaning tool; a cotton swab. This is how a lot of people clean their ears and their baby’s ears. This means that our children will grow up and think this is how you clean your ears.

This is not how you clean your ears. It is best to just clean what you can see with a warm washcloth and your fingertip. A cotton swab can actually push ear wax further into the ear canal and damage the eardrum. Earwax is also good for you, because it has antibacterial properties.

17 There Is A Wrong Way To Cut Toenails!


Our hygiene habits are so ingrained that we don’t even realize there is more than one way to do things. We also don’t think that the way we do them is wrong. Trimming our nails is an important aspect of personal hygiene. It makes sure that no one gets any accidental scratches and it makes sure that germs and grub cannot build up underneath the nails.

When cutting our toenails, it is important that we have a designated nail clipper that is for toes only. It is also important to trim the nails straight across and not too short because you don’t want to get an ingrown toenail, as those are quite painful.

16 Don't Keep A Too Clean House


Just as we talked about how over-bathing can be a problem, so can a house that is too clean. We want to make sure our environment is clean, but let’s not take it too extreme. A study was done on over 11,000 children that found that an overly hygienic environment increases the risk of eczema and asthma.

If you have hand sanitizers all over the house, you may want to throw them out or at least put them away for a bit. Using hand sanitizer too much can dry and crack the skin which can make it easier for bacteria to get into the body.

15 Oral Hygiene Is Important (And You're Probably Doing It Wrong!)


We all know that oral hygiene is incredibly important. Our teeth are vital to our wellbeing and health and it is important that we make sure our children know how important it is to brush their teeth. It can be hard sometimes to get little kids to brush their teeth, but it is important that mom and dad stick with it and make sure they are consistent.

There is a right way to brush your teeth to make sure that they get as clean as possible. You only want to use a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You want to move the brush back and forth across all your teeth. It is also important to make sure you clean your tongue; a lot of people forget that part!

14 There Is A Thing As Being 'Too Clean'


While it is important to make sure that we are clean and relatively germ-free, there is such a thing as being too clean. While a clean body is a body that can breathe. When all the scum and bacteria are removed, the skin can breathe better. You are also removing old skin when you bathe and shower.

However, over-bathing can also have some problems. When a person bathes too much, it can lead to infections and irritations on the skin. When skin is dry and open, it can actually cause bacteria to get deeper into the skin. An interesting fact is that the human body is home to about 1, 000 species of bacteria.

13 How To Handle A Sweaty Summer Day (The Right Way)


Summer is coming and it is the favorite time of the year for a lot of people. It is finally time to get out and enjoy everything that nature has to offer. Children get to burn off some energy and run around. However, with the warm weather comes sweat. It is important that we teach our children the right way to remove sweat from their face.

Most will automatically reach up with their hand and quickly whisk away some of the sweat. This is not the right way to deal with this. It is always best to use a small towel, or even your shirt to wipe the sweat away. That is because your hands are usually covered in bacteria, and even more so if you have been playing outside and this can make you prone to sickness.

12 Vacuuming Is (Never) Good Enough


Hygiene doesn’t just mean how clean our bodies are, it is also about the world around us. We may not have our children deep cleaning our house, but they are definitely watching us. They grow up watching us clean the house and that is how they learn how they should clean their house when they one day have their own.

Vacuuming is great and necessary, especially when you have children, but it is never enough when it comes to getting a carpet clean. Carpets are great for children as it is a soft surface, but it is also a great place for bacteria to harvest. For example, the Norovirus—which is responsible for the stomach flu—can live on the carpet for up to a month. It is always a good idea to have your carpet steam cleaned at least every month to remove any bacteria.

11 A Remote Control Is Not A Toy (This One Is Eye-Opening)


The remote control is one of the most precious devices in the home. It is how we watch TV and there are always fights on who gets to control the remote. Then, of course, there is always the fact that it gets lost all the time. This leads parents everywhere to flipping couches and tables trying to find it. Children also love the remote, and for some reason, would rather play with this than any of their toys.

It is a good idea to teach our children that the remote control is not a toy and that it needs to be cleaned. We don’t often think to clean the remote control, but it is one of the most germ-filled things in our home. Television remotes carry a lot of bacteria, since they are handled by hands all the time. Research has found that they have more bacteria on them than toilet seat handles.

10 The Harm In Not Separating Laundry


Laundry is one of the most dreaded chores that a mother has to do, and she is looking for any way to cut corners and not make it take so long. This means she likely just throws everything into one load and just lets it go. This also means that our children are learning how to do laundry by watching us. It is always a good idea to separate the laundry, at the very least, mom should be separating the undergarments.

That is because any trace of E. coli can live in water and be transferred to other clothing items during the wash. It also can linger on the walls of the washing machine, so we can not neglect cleaning our washing machine every now and then.

9 This One Is For The Girls


This one is just for the girls out there, and mothers need to pay attention. Little girls watch their mother and everything they do. They are absorbing and learning what it means to be a girl and how certain things are done. A lot of mother’s wear makeup and a lot of girls like to play in their parents’ makeup. However, it is always important to remove the makeup at the end of the day.

Being a mom is exhausting and it is normal to just want to climb in bed and forget about the makeup on your face. This can create clogged pores which can lead to acne, blackheads, and even uneven skin color. Involve your daughter in your nighttime routine and show her that you remove your makeup every day.

8 Put Something On Their Feet


Another great thing about the summer is the ability to go out and run in the grass barefoot. That is fine, except it should never happen. We, as adults, do this a lot. We go outside and we take our shoes off and walk around. This makes children watching us think that it is okay to do. Children should always have something on their feet wherever they go.

This is about a lot more than hygiene too, this also protects their feet should they step on something that may cause an injury. When they go to a public pool or splash pad, they should always have at least water shoes on. That is because there are a lot of fungal infections out there that can be transferred by going barefoot.

7 Just Refill It And Go! (Uh, How About No!)


Water bottles are staples in the summer, and it is so important to stay hydrated when it is warm outside. No one wants to get dehydrated and ruin a perfectly good summer day. However, there are hygiene guidelines when it comes to water bottles that a lot of people don’t follow. Most reuse their water bottle over and over again without washing it, and this is a mistake.

Water bottles should be washed after every use. At the end of the day, it is important to wash those water bottles out. In one test, researchers found large amounts of bacteria were found on water bottles that were not washed regularly. This included the bacteria that causes food poisoning.

6 Grocery Store Blunder


It would be great if we never had to bring our children to do grocery shopping, but sometimes we do, and it can be an adventure. It is not a place that is enticing or fun for a child which usually means that they start to act out. They want to get out of there. One-way parents have found to occupy their children while they finish their shopping is giving them a quick snack.

Produce is never a snack that should be given to a child at the grocery store because that teaches them that they don’t need to wash their apples and oranges before they eat them. There are bacteria on all the produce, especially since people like to feel them and then put them back. There also may be leftover pesticides on them from when they were growing on the farm.

5 Do The Dab!


The dab is not just a trendy dance move, it is also a rule when it comes to personal hygiene. We all cough and sneeze for various reasons. Maybe we have a cold, or allergies, or maybe something just tickled our nose just right. No matter what the concern is, it is always important that we cover our mouths. However, the way we cover our mouth is just as important.

Children should be taught to do the dab when they cough or sneeze. It is an instinct to cover our mouths with our hands because it is quickest, but this is one of the fastest ways to spread germs. Adults are just as guilty at doing this as kids, the crook of the elbow is the best way to cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze.

4 Kids Being Kids


We want to say that kids will be kids, and that kids are all prone to picking their nose. However, that would be a lie. Adults are just as guilty of sticking their finger up there every once and a while. The only difference is that adults know to do it in private away from people who can see. Children are watching everything we do, and it is important to stop this bad habit as soon as possible.

There are two reasons why even the occasional pick is not a good idea. The first is that by sticking your finger up your nose, you are spreading any germs or bacteria that may be on your fingers. Also, this is a good way to cause an injury, like a scratch, that could be prone to infection.

3 We All Skip The Lotion (When We Shouldn't)


When our little ones are babies, we always know to apply lotion after the bath to help keep their skin healthy. This habit seems to be forgotten as they age. They reach a certain point where we no longer apply lotion after their bath and shower, and this is a mistake. Even adults should be applying some kind of lotion or moisturizer after their skin is introduced to water for a long time.

This is because water will dry out the skin, and we need to replace the moisture lost. If we don’t, the skin could crack and get dry and this makes it easier for bacteria to find its way into the body. It is best to make sure you apply lotion immediately following a bath or shower to moisturize the skin and close the pores.

2 Where Are The Toothbrushes Stored?


Where we store things is important in our house for hygiene, and we normally store things places that are convenient when it comes to when we use them. This means that a lot of people keep their toothbrushes in the bathroom. Normally, they have it in a cute little holder by the sink. This makes it easier to grab when it is time to brush those pearls.

This is a bad place to keep your toothbrush. Even though it may be a bit of a pain, toothbrushes should not be kept in the bathroom. The bathroom has a lot of bacteria in the air, especially from the toilet, and it is all floating around. Until it decides to land on your toothbrush that you are then going to put in your mouth. It is always best to keep your toothbrushes outside of the bathroom.

1 The 5-Second Rule Does Not Exist!


This is one of the oldest hygiene hacks in the world. That if a piece of food falls on the floor, there is a ‘five-second’ rule. That means that as long as you pick it up right away, it is still safe to eat. That there was not enough time for bacteria to cling on to the food. This is not true, sadly. Any food that falls on the ground should be thrown out.

It takes a mere second for bacteria to cling to food. The moment that food item touches the ground, it already has whatever bacteria was on the ground clinging to it. Even if you keep your floors sparkly clean, there is no way of telling what bacteria is on the ground.

References: <em>health.com, lifehack.org, rd.com, thetabpost.com</em>


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