The importance of hygiene is something that needs to be taught to the kids from a very young age. Apart from washing hands, face, hair etc., they need to be taught to keep their genital areas clean too. This becomes specifically important for kids between the age group of 6 to 11 years, as their private areas begin to develop by this age.
Kids become shy as they go through the growing years. There could be circumstances where you feel that your child isn’t comfortable talking about genital cleaning. It is important to start explaining about overall hygiene and not specifically about genital hygiene. As the explanation becomes valid and comfortable, they’ll understand the necessities of the conversation.
Genital Hygiene for Boys
- The tip of penis – the area beneath the foreskin needs regular cleaning, once it starts moving easily. Do not force foreskin to move away from the tip. It starts moving back with time.
- Teach your kid not to apply soap to wash the area below foreskin. It could irritate the delicate area. He would often see white material, called smegma, under the foreskin. It is body’s natural secretion and it gets washed away while bathing.
- Teach your children to wash their genital area, just like they wash other parts of the body.
- Be on the lookout for groin ringworm or jock itch. Tell your kid about this fungal infection that usually occurs in warm weathers. It is caused if the child wears too tight clothes and the genital area does not get proper ventilation. The symptoms may include redness, blisters, itching etc.
Genital Hygiene for Girls
- Vagina cleans itself, thus you don’t need any extra care beyond washing the external area.
- Inserting any object to clean the vagina could damage the skin. They could also let germs go in and infect the area. So, teach your little girl to handle that area with care.
- Make sure she washes it in a singular front to back motion. This is done to avoid any bacteria entering around the anal area, coming in contact with urethra or vagina.
- Talk to them about menstrual cycles and how they need to take care of their genital area around this period. It is not suggested to clean the area too often while menstruating but it needs to be cleaned at least once a day. Also, proper sanitation pads should be used and changed regularly.
Also, tell him about the importance of overall cleanliness. Explain to him that we have bacteria all over our body. They feed on our dead skin cells, for instance sweat. Some bacteria cause unpleasant smell like hydrogen or methane. By regular cleaning and by regular usage of kid skin friendly perfumes and deodorants, you can help your child smell pleasant.
Make sure your little one understands the importance of keeping his private parts and other parts of the body clean. Well inculcated cleanliness habits in the childhood will stay with him in the long run and keep him away from any kind of skin infection.