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Nursing Blog: Hygiene

Nursing Blog: Hygiene

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: A Discussion on Hygiene

By Olivia Pereira, BSN, RN

We’ve often heard of the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of germs. While our health does start with our hands, it is also important to consider the other aspects of hygiene which include oral health, sleep hygiene, and body hygiene. Taking care of these aspects and prioritizing self-care not only assists our overall physical health, but also our mental well-being.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact”. Please continue reading for information on basic hygiene care for optimal health.

Hygiene Basics

  • Face and Neck
    Washing your face and neck twice daily with mild soap and water can help to control pimples and oily skin.
  • Hair
    Wash your hair with shampoo and water when noticeably dirty or oily.
    Never share brushes or hats with others to prevent spread of scalp conditions or infections.
    Brush your hair to prevent tangles and breakdown any buildup that may form from excess oils
  • Ears
    Wash outside and around your ears with soap and water.
    Avoid placing Q-tips inside the ear, this pushes earwax further in your ear and increases risk of trauma to the inner ear.
    To clean out any earwax impaction, it is best to consult with your physician for recommendations on the best methods or solutions for removal.
  • Whole Body and Extra Sweaty Places
    Frequent showers and/or baths are recommended to keep your body clean, especially when visibly dirty or sweaty.
    Use soap and water to keep clean
    Use underarm deodorant to help combat sweat and odor
  • Feet
    Wash and dry feet well
    Wear clean socks
    Ensure you wear the appropriate footwear for the day, it is best to wear shoes that are comfortable, but also provide support
  • Mouth
    Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily can cut down on bad breath and other oral health concerns.
    Regular check-ups with your dentist are recommended to monitor for tooth decay and gingivitis.
    Drinking tap water and using toothpastes containing fluoride can help keep teeth strong and prevent dental concerns.
  • Sleep
    Children and young people ages 5 - 18 years require an average of 8 - 13 hours of sleep. Ensure you go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday, setting a routine can help regulate sleep cycles and leave you feeling refreshed.
    Limit screen time (phones, tablet, TVs) usage at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
    Avoid large meals and caffeine products before bedtime.
An image of healthy basics for the Nursing Blog: Hygiene.

Maintaining personal hygiene is very important to reduce the risk of infection and to improve overall health. Parents can teach children and encourage them to take care of their personal hygiene from a young age.

Have additional questions or need support? Reach out to your school nurse for more information.


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