As your child with
Down syndrome enters puberty, grooming and hygiene
become increasingly important. Your child may need to learn new habits to stay
well groomed. Cleanliness is very important for proper socialization and
acceptance by peers.
Stress the importance of bathing and how good it
feels to get clean and smell good. Pay special attention to helping your child
keep his or her face clean.
Establish a routine for the order of
grooming and hygiene-related tasks. For example, start with brushing teeth,
using the bathroom, showering or bathing, and combing hair. You will also need
to help your child with some occasional grooming tasks, such as clipping nails
and scheduling regular haircuts.
Help your child shave as often as
is needed. For girls, this may mean shaving the legs and underarms. Older boys
and young men may need help shaving the face.
Buy deodorant and
help your child incorporate its use into his or her daily
After girls start menstruating,
help them learn to use pads or tampons. Discuss how to keep track of the cycle
and how to identify the physical signs that menstruation is about to occur.
Remind them to keep supplies handy at school or in a purse.
Although it may take extra effort, teach your child how to do these
self-care tasks on his or her own.