Topic: Family Health (Personal Cleanliness)


When we clean our body regularly, we reduce the chances of getting infected by various organisms that thrive in dirty environment. An individual’s health depends on the way and manner in which he or she takes care of himself or herself. If one does not maintain a high level of personal cleanliness, one is likely to suffer from diseases.

Meaning of Family, Health and Cleanliness

A family is a group consisting of one or two parents and their children while health is the condition of a person’s body or mind. The three levels of health are low, average and high or optimal level.

Cleanliness is the state of being clean or the habit of keeping things clean. It is the practice of keeping yourself, your living and working area clean in order to prevent illness and diseases.

Personal cleanliness is the act of keeping oneself neat. It helps to maintain good health and prevent diseases and is a continuous exercise. It involves cleaning the nails, hair, clothes, and brushing the teeth in the morning and at night

Methods of Keeping the Body Clean

  1. Cleanliness of the skin: The skin covers and protects the body. It secretes sweat which can be sticky and can cause an unpleasant smell when it dries on the skin. Also, some parasites can breed on the skin such as scabies, mites and other micro-organisms if it is not clean. Therefore, to avoid body odour and infection, you should wash your body using soap at least once daily.
  2. Cleanliness of the hand and the nails: We use our hands when eating, sweeping, working at home, in the school, on the farm, etc. When they become dirty, they may carry some micro-organisms. Therefore, we need to always wash our hands before and after eating, after going to the toilet and after handling dirty. Keep your nails short so as to avoid mistakenly scratching yourself or someone else or habouring micro-organisms
  3. Cleanliness of the Hair: To keep the hair clean and tidy, an individual must wash and comb it everyday. Some parasites live and survive in the hair if it is dirty. A parasite is an organism (either plant or animal) that lives and feeds on another plant or animal (host) at the expense of that host. Parasites such as fleas and lice can easily infect a dirty person who fails to wash his or her hair regularly.
  4. Cleanliness of the Teeth: You should clean your teeth after meals, at night before going to bed and first thing in the morning so as to remove food particles. Rinse your mouth with enough water to remove the food particles that are trapped in between the teeth. Mouth rinsing alone does not remove all food particles in the mouth. You should use toothpaste and a toothbrush or chewing stick. In cleaning your teeth, you must clean the outer and the inner surface, before you finally rinse it. Always remember to brush your tongue as well.
  5. Cleaning of our Clothes: Clothes are used to cover the body. Our clothes should be kept clean to avoid offensive odour. Sweat from the skin is absorbed by your clothes, so you should change your clothes everyday and they should be washed with soap or detergent and dried before you wear them again.

In Summary, Methods of Keeping Our Body Clean Are:

  1. By using soap to wash our hair everyday or whenever it is dirty, comb the hair everyday and ensure that you keep it as low as possible.
  2. By cleaning the teeth. This should be done first thing every morning and at night before going to bed.
  3. By washing the hands regularly before meals and after going to toilet.
  4. By taking our bath twice a day with soap and sponge and rinse the body properly with water.

Methods of Keeping the Home Clean

Cleanliness of our home is very necessary as the home constitutes a major part of our environment. A clean environment brings about good health. Disease-carrying insects are not found in a clean home (environment). The following are methods of keeping our homes clean:

  1. Sweeping the rooms and the surrounding regularly
  2. Removing cobwebs on the walls and ceilings and disposing domestic waste properly
  3. Proper disposal of domestic waste
  4. Washing up used cooking utensils
  5. Washing up plates, spoons and forks after use
  6. Washing the toilet regularly with scouring powder and disinfecting with disinfectant
  7. Cutting down bushes around the home
  8. Cleaning and polishing the furniture
  9. Washing and cleaning curtains and windows blinds regularly
  10. Cleaning the rugs regularly

Cleaning Agents

Cleaning agents are those substances that are used to keep the body or home clean. Examples are:

  1. Disinfectants
  2. Antiseptics
  3. Soaps
  4. Detergents

Advantages of Personal Cleanliness

Benefits of maintaining good personal cleanliness are:

  1. Good health (protects the individual against diseases)
  2. Social acceptability
  3. Emotional stability (gives confidence to the individual)

Disadvantages of Poor Personal Cleanliness

When a good level of personal cleanliness is not maintained, it poses dangers to the body. Such dangers are:

  1. Poor health
  2. Social rejection
  3. Low esteem
  4. Emotional instability

Factors that Lead to Low Level of Personal Cleanliness

  1. Ignorance: Some people do not have the knowledge of personal cleanliness. This makes such persons dirty always
  2. Nonchalance: This is a poor feeling towards personal cleanliness. The person does not care about what he/she wears
  3. Lack of time: this has to do with being engaged in so many activities which do not allow one to take care himself or herself
  4. Tradition: Some traditions encourage uncleanliness