You teach your child various ways to stay safe. How to cross the street, what foods to avoid, etc. One important aspect that you tend to overlook is the parts of the body they should not touch.
By Ashwin Dewan
Aamir, the three-year-old son of Toufeeq would often fall ill. Sometimes, it would be fever while, at other times, it would be a stomach ache. Trips to the doctor become a frequent affair and medicines would be found all over the house. It was not until one day, when Toufeeq was narrating his troubles to a friend who suggested him to consider checking if his child was maintaining hygiene.
Do you know that your child should be careful while using his hands to touch various body parts? An unclean hand can easily lead to infections and subsequently, illnesses. And children do not think twice before scratching different parts of their body with their fingers. In fact, by touching certain parts of his body, your child is more likely to spread certain infections.
Simple everyday things like biting nails or touching the face with unclean fingers may result in serious illnesses.
“Even after proper washing, hands and fingers are rapidly re-contaminated from the surrounding environment,” says Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona.
Body safety is a vital lesson that should be taught to children from an early age or it might be too late.
Let us look at parts of the body your child should avoid touching.
1) The EAR (the inner ear)
Your child should never stick his fingers or anything else, including earbuds inside the ears. This might introduce bacteria to the area or the thin skin that lines the ear canal might suffer from a tear. If you suspect your child is suffering from a wax build up, it is advisable to go to the ear doctor rather than trying to take care of it yourself.
Often, children take the help of cotton swabs or any sharp object to remove dirt from the inside of the ear. This is not recommended. This is not only a dirty habit but very dangerous. Apart from causing ear infection, your child could also suffer from hearing loss.
2) The FACE (avoid touching skin eruptions or pimples)
Face wash, face wipes, face creams are popular for a reason. According to a leading website, your child’s hands may contain numerous bacteria, viruses and allergens, which can damage the skin of the face. If your child attempts to scratch his face or break a pimple, it might lead to further infection. Plus, the fingers often contain oil and germs that can clog the pores leading to breakout of spots and marks.
3) The Nose (Nose digging)
One dirty habit that children indulge in is nose digging. This habit should be stopped immediately. Nose is a very sensitive part of the human body and should be left alone. There are numerous natural and healthy bacteria in the nasal cavity. When children stick their fingers inside the nose, they introduce different bacteria, which can overtake the good bacteria causing health problems.
According to a 2006 study of ear, nose, and throat patients published in the journal 'Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology', it was found that nose pickers were more vulnerable and likely to carry bad bacteria in their nose.
While digging his nose, a child's nails can scratch the insides of the nose resulting in bleeding. Besides, nose digging is definitely not a good etiquette at all. It can turn into a habit, which can lead to embarrassment in public places.
4) The Mouth (the inside of the mouth)
Children often use their hands to put dirty things in their mouth as they are curious and learning new things every day. For instance, they might just put a stone in their mouth or a fallen piece of sweet wrapper. This is a very bad habit.
According to a study, published in the 'Journal of Applied Microbiology', a third of germs in the mouth are transferred from the fingers. Children go about touching everything and anything such as doorknobs, the faucet, and keys. Then, they put fingers which have bacteria in their mouth, which results in sickness.
The eyes are the window to the world and should, at all costs, not be touched without proper precautions unless necessary. If your child wants to remove dust from his eyes, he can splash water gently on his eyes. But, when children touch their eyes regularly with their hands, they introduce germs and run the risk of inserting dirt that can cause irritation and even scratches to the sensitive cornea.
Teach your child to resist the urge to rub the eyes and if they must touch them, make sure their hands are washed thoroughly before doing so.
The part underneath the nails harbour a lot of dirt, including bacteria and germs. Children tend to use their teeth to remove the dirt leading to infection and sickness. Teach your children to regularly trim their nails and wash their hands with soap and water. Any nail digging habits should be discouraged in children.
Good hygiene is essential for your little one to stay healthy and safe from diseases. The article below looks at practical tips that should be taught at an early age.
The butt is one body part that children should avoid touching with their hands except for washing and wiping. This part contains bacteria that could be harmful as it could spread through the hands of your child to other parts of his body causing infection and sickness.
Your body needs careful handling and understanding. It is important to make children understand that certain body parts are to be left alone for their good health.
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