By Raising Children Network
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Use water and soap over the hands and wrists to wash hands; regular bathing can be a bedtime routine; girls wash from front to back to avoid urinary tract infection.
  • Teach your child to always wash her hands before eating or preparing food, after going to the toilet or playing, and after touching animals or dirty objects. Use water and soap over the hands and wrists. Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel or hand dryer.

  • Regular baths or showers will help keep your child clean and healthy. Bathing at the end of the day can also be part of an enjoyable bedtime routine. Make it fun with games and toys, and never leave your child alone at bath time.

  • Your daughter’s vulva can be gently washed in the bath or shower like other body parts. Your daughter should wash from front to back to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. Her vagina cleans itself – don’t put anything in it.



Boys wash their penis and scrotum; dry thorougly, including armpits, genitals and bottom; after going to the toilet, girls wipe from front to back.
  • Boys should wash their penis and scrotum (balls) the same way they wash other body parts. Teach your son to regularly clean the tip of his penis. There’s no need to wash under the penis foreskin (if he has one).

  • Use a dry towel or flannel to gently rub your child dry. Dry everywhere, including the armpits, genitals, groin, bottom and behind the ears. Drying before getting dressed can help avoid rashes. In warmer weather, your child can air-dry before dressing.

  • Teach your child to wipe her bottom with toilet paper – you might have to help, depending on her age. Show how much toilet paper to use by counting the squares. Girls should always wipe from front to back.


Teeth and nose

Brush teeth twice a day and floss at least twice a week; blow nose gently when it's blocked; use a tissue when sneezing or coughing, then wash hands.
  • Brush teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. For older children, floss every night if possible (or at least twice every week).

  • Your child should learn to blow her nose gently when it’s blocked – this makes breathing easier. Teach her to blow out candles or blow bubbles, then to blow with her nose. Hard blowing can cause nosebleeds.

  • Teach your child to cover his mouth with a tissue when he sneezes or coughs. Then the tissue goes in the bin. He should cough into his upper sleeve or elbow when he doesn’t have a tissue. Always wash hands after sneezing or coughing.

  • Last updated or reviewed 23-08-2011