May 3

Strategies to Help With Hygiene and Various Acts of Daily Living

Young children require lots of care, attention, and support to achieve even the tiniest of their goals. Taking care of their personal hygiene and performing ADLs (acts of living) are at the top of that list.

That’s why we’re going to cover all the important tips and tactics you can use to help your child with their ADLs and personal hygiene.

So without wasting any time, let’s dive in.

Why Is Personal Hygiene Important?

Every day, you wake up in the morning and follow this routine (or a similar one): you brush your teeth, wash your hair, take a bath, and put on fresh clothes.

Why do you perform all these tasks daily? The answer is simple: to stay clean and healthy — which is what good hygiene is all about.

To stay healthy, your child needs to maintain good personal hygiene. To improve your child’s personal hygiene, help them turn the following routine into a habit:

  1. Wash your hands: always wash your hands before eating or cooking food, after going to the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after taking out the garbage.
  2. Bath regularly: shampoo your hair and wash your body daily.
  3. Trim your nails: keep your nails trimmed and in good shape to prevent problems such as hangnails and infected nail beds.
  4. Brush and floss: brush your teeth twice a day and floss them at least once daily.
  5. Sleep tight: get plenty of sleep — around 8 to 10 hours every night — to wake up refreshed.

Remind them that by following a proper routine to maintain good personal hygiene, they’ll get clean, healthy, and even good looking.

What are the Activities of Daily Living?

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are routine activities people do daily without assistance. Generally, the following six basic activities are considered ADLs:

  1. Eating
  2. Bathing
  3. Toileting
  4. Continence
  5. Transferring
  6. Getting dressed

How your child performs these ADLs is crucial in determining what type of healthcare and health coverage — such as Medicare, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance — he will need as he ages.

Now that you know the importance of ADLs and good hygiene, let’s discuss:

Smart Tactics to Help Your Child With Performing ADLs

To help your child maintain good hygiene in performing activities of daily living, you should implement the following 3 smart tactics:

1. Forward Chaining

Forward chaining is a popular method for teaching children how to perform daily living tasks properly. Here’s how this method works:

  1. Choose a daily task, such as brushing teeth or washing hair, to teach your kid.
  2. Perform the task in front of your kid in the traditional pattern, executing the first step, then the second, and so on until the sequence is finished.

Forward chaining is ideal for children who have difficulty generalizing activities, as you can provide a changing number of prompts and cues throughout the task.

2. Backward Chaining

Backward chaining is another popular method for teaching children how to perform daily living tasks.

The difference between this method and forward chaining is that in backward chaining, the adult performs all the steps except the last one.

So your kid should start by performing only the last step of the sequence. When he is able to do the last step properly, you should then let him move on to the second last step and so on until he can complete the entire sequence by himself.

Since backward chaining involves immediate success, it is ideal for teaching children with a low frustration tolerance or poor self-esteem.

3. Visual Support

If you don’t have the time to perform ADLs with your kid, then you can teach them with the help of sequencing images to save time.

Make sure the images give step-by-step directions to performing the entire sequence correctly. So your child can visually recall each step whenever he needs to.

Whether you go with backward chaining, forward chaining, or visual support, you should help your child implement what they learn into their daily routine.



occupational therapy, speech, speech therapy, therapy

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