Let's talk about personal hygiene. This is something you would assume most children are taught, yet like the correct names for their genitalia, they are not.
Something as simple as hand washing is a foreign concept to most children who entre a child care centre, regardless of their age. Now hand washing is a simple thing that children should know, especially if they are toilet trained. Faces are a little harder, however by about four years of age they should be aware of whether or not they have food on their face.
Wiping after using the toilet is perhaps the hardest. Little girls are rarely shown how to do it right - pat, don't wipe. And little boys are taught they don't have to, that a shake will do.
Boys get UTI's too. Perhaps not as often as little girls, but there is no harm in teaching a boy to use a small amount of toilet paper to gently dab himself dry.
Little girls have it rough - currently in my room I am potty training one little girl (well, technically she decided at 21 months old that she was ready for the potty), and two little girls recently trained, and two who have been trained for 6-12 months.
Today one of them came to the centre with a bit of a vaginal infection. The culprit? Not wiping properly, or well.
Today I am bathroom supervisor, I wash hands and faces, change diapers, and wipe bums. So I sat the three older girls down, one on the toilet to pee and the other two on the edge of the bathtub, and we had a little chat about wiping. Because once they move to the preschool room the bathroom doesn't have a teacher standing there helping. There is already one little girl on that side who gets UTIs so painful she can't walk, let alone pee.
So I talked about wiping, which you may think is weird for me to be talking to little girls about, however it is part of my job. And today, because we already have one with an infection, I was Offical Bum Wiper. Mostly because I wanted them to use "baby wipes", those moist wipes you use on babys, to ensure they were clean.
I get to work all week, all month if I have to, to help these girls learn that wiping properly is a part of not getting sick. It's a strange aspect of my job, but it is one that has to be done.
At home their parents should also be working with them on this, as well as how to properly wash themselves. I don't really remember my mom teaching me that, just that I should wash.
I think many parents are nervous or embarrassed about teaching their children about their "private parts", so they give them silly names, and that's as far as it progresses. There are several reasons why it is important to teach your children the correct names for their genitalia (penis, testicles, vulva, vagina - these are all different parts), however the MOST important reason is the one most parents fear the most. Sexual assult. If your child does not know the correct names, their testimony will rarely stand up, because the court has to then take your word that that is what your child means.
Long story short, teach kids proper hygiene, and the correct terms for their genitals. This helps teach them respect their own bodies, and other peoples as well.