Basics of Cleaning Your Child’s Private Parts 

It is important for us to care for our child’s hygiene to ensure overall health . Bathing right is crucial in maintaining hygiene, however over enthusiastic cleaning may be harmful.

Infants do not require frequent baths. In fact , American Academy Of Paediatrics (AAP) recommends thrice a week bathing with soap and water is enough. Too frequent baths can strip the baby skin of its protective oils and can lead to dry skin. In summers , you can chose to bath your baby daily but avoid overuse of soaps and body wash liquids.

Cleaning private parts of our children is of prime concern , yet not widely discussed.

Here are the essential tips on how to clean private parts of your children , both boys and girls! 

Boys

 

At birth , your son’s penis is covered by a double fold of skin , called foreskin. Circumcision is a practice in few cultures where this foreskin is removed . Care of the circumcised and uncircumcised penis is slightly different.

  • For Uncircumcised Penis 

During the first several years of life, the intact foreskin will naturally separate from the glans. This is called foreskin retraction. 

Most boys will be able to retract their foreskins by the time they are 5 years old, yet others will not be able to until the teen years. But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until it fully separates, do not try to pull it back. Forcing it to retract before it is ready can cause severe pain, bleeding, and tears in the skin.

Steps to clean :

  • Wash all body including genitals , when giving bath to your infant .
  • Wash the head of the penis and the inside fold of the foreskin with soap and water . 
  • Remember, do not try to forcibly retract the foreskin.
  • You should watch your baby urinate to be sure that the hole in the foreskin is large enough to allow a normal stream.
  • Consult your pediatrician if: 
  1. the stream of urine is never heavier than a trickle
  2. your baby seems to have some discomfort while urinating.

Once your son starts puberty, he should clean beneath his foreskin as part of his daily routine.Teach your son to clean in the following way:

Step 1: Gently pull the foreskin back away from the end of the penis.

Step 2: Rinse underneath the foreskin with soap and warm water.

Step 3: Pull the foreskin back over the penis.

If the foreskin becomes considerably red or swollen, see your pediatrician. If your son’s foreskin is fully retracted before puberty, an occasional retraction with cleansing beneath will do.

  • For Circumcised Penis

Usually, after the circumcision has healed, the penis requires no additional care.During his bath, squeeze some soapy water over the penis from a washcloth and rinse it. 

Occasionally a small piece of the foreskin remains. You should pull back this skin gently each time the child is bathed. Examine the groove around the head of the penis and make sure it’s clean.

Steps to clean while diaper change: 

Wipe your baby’s bottom and surrounding dirty areas with a sensitive baby wipe(alcohol & fragrance free) , moist tissue, or damp washcloth (use only plain water) .In boys, make sure you clean the groove between scrotal sacs and thighs. Make sure all the poop is off. Dry off with air or a dry cloth , but don’t rub hard. Tuck his penis into a downward position just before you put on his fresh diaper to avoid urine to escape over the top end of the diaper.

Girls

 

During bath , avoid getting soapy water inside the vagina – soap is an irritant and stings if it goes inside .  Be careful while giving Bubble baths, avoid using harsh soaps and body washes . They may strip the natural protective layer of the vagina.

Clean by running a washcloth up each side of the labia, between the inner and outer labia. Always clean from front to back and never from back to front , to avoid urinary tract infections. Rinsing off the soap from the vulva is very important . Teach your child as they grow to clean their own vulva.Use the correct names for her body part.  Show them exactly where this is, and explain what each part is called and why it’s important to clean it. The vagina is the part on the inside; the vulva is on the outside, and includes all ‘external genitalia’ – the labia (four lips), the clitoris and the opening of the urethra (for urine) .

The vagina cleans itself, so unless there is something up there (like poo), don’t clean the insides, and never, ever use soap inside the vagina.

Steps to clean while diaper change: 

Wipe your baby’s bottom and surrounding dirty areas with a sensitive baby wipe(alcohol & fragrance free) , moist tissue, or damp washcloth (use only plain water) .For girls , Firmly but gently wipe the entire outside of visible soiling, and then in between the outer labia and inner labia as required, always wipe the area from front to back.  Make sure all the poop is off. Dry off with air or a dry cloth , but don’t rub hard.



Liked the article ? Do share and spread the knowledge , this topic needs awareness among parents in order to raise healthy children . 

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