Hygiene Tips for Tweens - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Published on March 24, 2015

Hygiene Tips for Tweens

Hygiene Tips for Tweens

Hygiene Tips for Tweens

What’s a tween? A tween is a person between 10 and 12 years old.1 A person “between” child and a teen. The term became popular in the 90’s when marketers realized tweens were a new population segment with big buying power. 

Tweens go through many social, physiological and emotional changes. They share some of the characteristics of teenagers, such as changing bodies and a growing interest in the opposite sex. And they are not as preoccupied with play as younger children.2

“When a child becomes a tween, the responsibility of being clean will shift from parent to child,” explains Ernesto G. Ong MD, PIH Health pediatrician at the Hacienda Heights medical office building. “In order for parents to be good coaches, they must first set a good example. Remember - kids learn by watching what their parents do.”

Daily routines for tweens:3

  • Showering. Most elementary school kids don’t need a shower every day.  However, once puberty hits, daily showers are a must.
  • Washing hair. Discuss the pros and cons of daily hair washing. Some tweens may prefer to skip a day to prevent their hair from drying out. Others may want to wash their hair daily, especially if they have oily hair, which can look greasy and aggravate acne.
  • Oral health. Tweens can get pretty lax about their oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing are crucial, especially if they're drinking sugary sodas and sports drinks.
  • Clothes. Wearing clean clothes each day is an important part of tween hygiene.  Ensure that your tween changes socks and underwear every day.
  • Preventing acne. Around age 10, it makes sense for tweens to start washing his or her face twice a day. Many kids don't have acne problems at that age, but getting in the habit early is smart. They should wash with a gentle cleanser. Trying to scrub off the oil will just leave the skin cracked and irritated.
  • Using deodorant or antiperspirant. When puberty hits, the sweat glands become more active and the chemical composition of the sweat changes, causing it to smell stronger. When you or your tween begin to notice it, using deodorant or an antiperspirant should become part of their morning routine.
  • Shoes. Tweens should wear shoes that have aired out at least overnight. It’s better to wear different shoes than the day before. 
  • Shaving and hair removal. When you notice hair on your son's upper lip or on your daughter's legs, it’s time to discuss razor use and hair removal options.
  • Remind your tween that they shouldn’t share personal items with other people, not even their sibling(s)! Personal items include toothbrush, hairbrush, washcloth, towel, cup and razor.

Make good hygiene a responsibility. As a parent, explain the importance of good hygiene to your tween. Nagging or pleading may not work. Instead, try treating it like other assigned chores, with clear repercussions if they do not follow through.

  1.  "Tween." Dictionary.com, American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. Web. 4 May 2010.
  2. Clifford-Poston, Andrea. Tweens: What to Expect From – and How to Survive – Your Child's Pre-teen Years. Oxford: Oneworld, 2005. Print.
  3. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/teen-hygiene R. Morgan Griffin.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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