Hygiene checklist for children

Updated April 17, 2017

Proper hygiene habits are essential for good health and for a clean appearance, especially as children approach puberty and begin to develop acne and body odour. Giving children a hygiene checklist helps them remember all areas of personal hygiene and create an effective hygiene routine.

Bathing and Shampooing

Children don't need to bathe every day until they reach puberty, according to WebMD. Once children hit puberty, however, they should shower daily, using a mild soap. Kids who have oily hair may need to shampoo daily, but others can get away with washing their hair a few times a week. Once puberty starts, children should also use an antiperspirant or deodorant to help control body odour.

Dental Hygiene

Kids need to brush their teeth at least twice a day, including in the morning and before bed. This removes food particles that cause bacterial growth, which leads to bad breath. Flossing once a day also helps keep teeth clean and strong.

Hand Washing

Children should get in the habit of washing their hands with soap and water before eating or preparing food, after using the rest room, after coughing or sneezing and after playing with pets. Hand washing prevents the spread of bacteria and illness.


Children should keep fingernails and toenails short and clean. Young children may need help trimming their nails, but older children should be able to clip their nails about once a week.

Face Washing

Children should wash their face once or twice a day with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt and oil. Kids who wear make-up should use a make-up remover before bed. If kids develop acne as they reach puberty, over-the-counter acne medication may reduce breakouts.

Changing Clothes and Shoes

Kids should change their socks and underwear daily. As kids approach puberty, they'll need to wear fresh shirts each day, too. Alternating pairs of shoes and wearing cotton socks can help prevent foot odour.

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About the Author

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.