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What is Personal Hygiene?

Personal Hygiene is one of the most effective ways we have to protect ourselves, and others, from a lot of illnesses is good hygiene. Hygiene means washing your hands and also washing the rest of your body.  It also means being careful not to cough or sneeze on others, cleaning things that you touch and throwing away things such as tissues that might have germs on them.

Hand Washing

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Most of the infections we get, especially colds, we catch when our hands get germs on them.  Germs are tiny organisms, or living things, that can cause disease.  They are so small and sneaky that they creep into our bodies without being noticed. 
 
Some illnesses we can get when other people's dirty hands touch the food that we eat. So it is important to keep hands as clean as possible, particularly if you are around food.
 
Some of the times that it is important to wash hands are:
 
  • After using the toilet
  • Before making or eating food
  • After handling dogs or animals
  • If you have been around someone who is coughing or has a cold

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Washing hands

  • Use clean water and soap  over your hands and wrists
  • One way to make sure that you’re getting a “good” wash is to sing, "This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands. This is the way we wash our hands and wash the germs away."  Doing this makes sure that you wash your hands long enough to get rid of the germs.
  • Use something clean to dry hands, such as paper towels or a hot air dryer.

Body Odor

Some people do make judgments about others based on what they look like and what they smell like.

Body smells are:

  • Partly due to the chemicals that the body makes (such as the pheromones chemicals that attract [or repel] others)
  • Partly due to things that the body is trying to get rid of through breathing them out (such as garlic)
  • Partly due  to the actions of bacteria on the skin and clothes

There are always bacteria on the skin that 'feed' on dead skin cells and fluids such as sweat. Some of these bacteria make chemicals that smell unpleasant, such as methane and hydrogen sulfide (smells like rotten eggs). Washing and using deodorants gets rid of many of these smelly chemicals for a while but they build up again every day.  Here are some tips on how to keep body odor pleasant:

  • Clothes (especially socks and underwear) can be smelly and unpleasant to others after they have been worn for more than one day, so changing as often as possible is a good idea. 
  • Making sure that underwear and socks are changed each day is usually the thing to do in places where it is easy to wash clothes. In some places this may not be possible, but try to do the best you can.
  • Shoes often get very smelly. Put them outside to dry completely, killing the bacteria in them that make the smell.

For more information on sweat and body odors, visit:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sweating-and-body-odor/DS00305

Fun games about Personal Hygiene:
 

Additional Information:

  • This is a great website for finding ways to get FREE personal hygiene products!

"Malamapono no na keiki i ka pae 'aina o Hawaii"~
Caring for the children of Hawaii