Sub-domain: Health and Personal Care

The Health and Personal Care sub-domain covers goals twenty-two and twenty-three of the Idaho Early Learning Guidelines.

Using this guide

Scroll down to see the age group you are most interested in. Click on the goal to learn more about the goal's:

  • developmental growth
  • child indicators
  • caregiver strategies

There is an option to download the information at the end of each goal. When you click the link you will be brought to a new page where you can download the goal as a PDF.  

Parent spraying sanitizer or sunblock on child

0 - 8 Months

Goal 22: Children practice basic personal care routines.

Developmental Growth: Begin to develop an awareness of basic physical needs related to personal care.

Child Indicators: Indicates needs and wants such as sleep or discomfort from heat or cold. Indicates anticipation of feeding on seeing the breast or bottle. Demonstrates increasing ability to self-soothe and fall asleep. Shows feelings of hunger and fullness in feeding routines.

Caregiver Strategies: Respond positively and promptly when child indicates need (need for food, diaper change, blanket). Provide child with a safe and comfortable sleeping environment. Wash your hands and child’s hands frequently to help prevent the spread of colds and viruses.Use routines around feeding, waking, and playing.

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Goal 23: Children demonstrate personal health and hygiene skills.

Developmental Growth: Infant reacts and responds to an adult performing hygiene care giving.

Child Indicators: Responds to vocalizations during routines including diaper changing, eating, and dressing. Indicates needs and wants such as hunger, fatigue, a soiled diaper, or discomfort. Relaxes during bathing routines.

Caregiver Strategies: Respond positively and ensure that child receives regular checkups that include appropriate screenings, immunizations, preventive care, and information about child development. Establish dental care for child. Talk with child about what you’re doing when bathing, diapering, dressing, and cleaning. Build routines around daily care giving activities. Provide hand washing at appropriate times (hands can be washed with a damp paper towel and a drop of soap then wiped dry with a paper towel before and after eating, after diapering, etc.). Make bath time enjoyable (provide safe bath toys, sing songs, tell stories). Cover infant with blanket and/or appropriate clothing when in the sun.

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6 - 18 Months

Goal 22: Children practice basic personal care routines.

Developmental Growth: Participate in routines.

Child Indicators: Indicates needs and wants such as hunger or sleep. Assists caregiver with holding bottle; later grasps a cup. Begins to use fingers to self-feed crackers and other easy-to- dissolve foods. May indicate when in need of diaper change. May assist adult when undressing, dressing, and diapering. Removes loose clothing (socks, hats, mittens). Holds own cup when drinking. Begins to use a spoon.

Caregiver Strategies: Respond positively and promptly when child indicates need (need for food, diaper change, blanket). Provide safe finger foods for child to self-feed. Wash your hands and child’s hands frequently to help prevent the spread of colds and viruses. Provide oral health care (brushing teeth and gums). Encourage child to assist with daily personal care (pull down and pull up pants, brush teeth, and dress self). Provide child-size eating utensils and cups; and provide opportunities for older child to make selections from foods offered and feed self. Provide older babies with a consistent bedtime routine and schedule. Model basic personal care routines.

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Goal 23: Children demonstrate personal health and hygiene skills.

Developmental Growth: Anticipate, respond, and participate in basic hygiene tasks, with assistance

Child Indicators: Indicates needs and wants such as hunger, fatigue, a soiled diaper, or discomfort. Displays an awareness of hand washing routine and allows hands to be washed. Enjoys bath time. Vocalizes needs and wants such as hunger, fatigue, a soiled diaper, or discomfort. Participates in hand washing routine. Begins to brush gums and teeth, with assistance. Participates in bath time routines.

Caregiver Strategies: Ensure child receives regular checkups that include appropriate screenings, immunizations, preventive care, and information about child development. Provide on-going dental care for child. Understand and recognize typical signs of illness or discomfort in child and respond appropriately, seeking assistance as needed (teething, earache, diaper rash, diarrhea). Provide hand washing at appropriate times (hands can be washed with a damp paper towel and a drop of soap then wiped dry with a paper towel before and after eating, after diapering, etc.). Establish hygiene routines and model them (washing hands before eating, brushing teeth). Provide necessary hand washing assistance (wash hands using liquid soap, running water, and disposable towels). Use sunscreen to protect skin from sunburn.

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Prenatal care, personal hygiene, and basic personal care are essential to a child’s physical health.

16 - 38 Months

Goal 22: Children practice basic personal car routines.

Developmental Growth: Participate in meeting personal care needs.

Child Indicators: Shows through gestures, expressions, body language, or words that child is about to urinate or have a bowel movement. Feeds self with spoon, without assistance. Washes hands, with assistance.Demonstrates interest in changing clothes when wet or muddy. Participates in putting on shoes and socks. Dresses and undresses completely, with assistance. Uses personal care objects correctly and regularly, sometimes with assistance (drinks from open cup, brushes hair, brushes teeth). Participates in sleeping routines such as getting and arranging their bedtime comfort items.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities for child to participate daily in personal care (choose clothes to wear, use toothbrush, get dressed). Provide opportunities for child to be responsible for personal belongings (hanging up own jacket). Provide easy on/off clothing to allow child a chance to practice personal care. Read with child and practice other calming routines at bedtime.Be aware of culturally-based personal care strategies used by families to promote interdependence.

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Goal 23: Children demonstrate personal health and hygiene skills.

Developmental Growth:  Show limited awareness of personal health and hygiene skills.

Child Indicators: Indicates wet or soiled diaper by pointing, vocalizing, or pulling at diaper, when prompted. Shows interest in toilet training and begins to use toilet regularly by 36 months, with assistance. Participates in bathroom routines. Washes and dries hands at appropriate times, with minimal assistance (after diapering/toileting, before meals, after blowing nose). Uses tissue to wipe nose, with assistance. Communicates with caregiver when they are not feeling well. Cooperates and assists with tooth brushing.

Caregiver Strategies: Ensure child receives regular checkups that include appropriate screenings, immunizations, preventive care, and information about development. Provide on-going dental care for child. Model and practice proper hand washing and drying. Provide necessary hand washing assistance (wash hands using liquid soap, running water, and disposable towels). Support child’s efforts in toileting, brushing teeth, bathing. Show child how to clean up after self; acknowledge child when he/she does clean up. Talk with child about health rules (cover mouth when coughing; throw away soiled tissues in wastebasket). Model words to describe symptoms of illness (I feel hot.  My tummy hurts.). Have a set of clean clothes always ready for child to change into. Use sunscreen to protect skin from sunburn.

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36 - 60 Months

Goal 22: Children practice basic personal care routines.

Developmental Growth: Initiate and carry out personal care routines, with and without assistance.

Child Indicators: Feeds self with fork and spoon; and spreads with a blunt knife, without assistance. Washes hands independently, with frequency. Gets a drink of water from an appropriate tap, without assistance. Dresses and undresses, with minimal help. Chooses own clothes to wear, when asked. Puts shoes on, without assistance. Decides, with few prompts, when to carry out self-help tasks (to wash hands when dirty and before meals). Chooses to rest, when tired. Participates in helping younger siblings with personal care routines. Cares for toileting needs other than wiping. Independently completes toileting activities, including wiping and flushing the toilet.

Caregiver Strategies: Offer plenty of guidance and opportunities for child to take care of self (put on own coat, clean up after spills and messy projects). Give child enough time to take care of personal needs such as zipping and unzipping coat. Provide chart with picture cues showing the sequence of steps  of everyday health-related activities such as hand washing and nose-blowing.Help child recognize personal signs of fatigue and need for rest.Provide opportunities for child to help younger siblings and other children with appropriate personal care routines. Demonstrate clear and consistent boundaries about harmful objects and situations (always put child in car safety seat when traveling in a vehicle). Assist with brushing own teeth; adult may complete the brushing process.

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Goal 23: Children demonstrate personal health and hygiene skills.

Developmental Growth: Demonstrate independence in personal hygiene skills.

Child Indicators: Takes care of own toileting needs. Washes and dries hands before eating and after toileting, without assistance. Cooperates and assists caregiver with tooth brushing. Identifies health products (shampoo, toothpaste, soap). Covers mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with elbow or tissue. Uses tissue to wipe own nose and throws tissue in wastebasket.ecognizes and communicates when experiencing symptoms of illness. Cooperates and participates in care for acute and chronic illness (takes medicine, with assistance).

Caregiver Strategies: Ensure child receives regular checkups that include appropriate screenings, immunizations, preventive care, and information about development. Provide on-going dental care for child. Establish hand washing routines (wash hands using liquid soap, running water, and disposable towels) for appropriate times throughout the day (on arrival, after handling pets, before and after eating, after toileting and blowing nose, after outdoor play). Provide chart with picture cues showing the sequence of steps to wash and dry hands.Provide opportunities for child to select personal hygiene items for self and others (select own toothbrush, washcloth). Make a place for child’s personal grooming. Provide child with enough time to take care of personal hygiene. Provide opportunities for child to interact with health care workers (dentist, nurse, health aide, doctor). Use sunscreen to protect skin from sunburn.

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Prenatal care, personal hygiene, and basic personal care are essential to a child’s physical health.

60 Months - Kindergarten

Goal 22: Children practice basic personal care routines.

Developmental Growth: Independently initiate and carry out personal care routines.

Child Indicators: Uses fork, spoon, and (sometimes) a blunt table knife. Pours milk or juice easily, with minimal spills. Dresses and undresses in easy pull-on clothes, without assistance. Ties single knot in shoelaces, with assistance. Brushes and combs hair, with assistance. Helps select clothes appropriate for the weather.

Caregiver Strategies: Talk with child about positive personal care routines. Provide opportunities for child to practice personal care (dressing, brushing hair, brushing teeth). As appropriate, provide opportunities for child to take responsibility for own special personal care (eyeglasses, hearing aids). Provide opportunities to model care routines with dolls or other toys.

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Goal 23: Children demonstrate personal health and hygiene skills.

Developmental Growth: Initiate and independently carry out personal hygiene skills, with or without assistance

Child Indicators: Washes hands independently at appropriate times throughout the day. Brushes teeth and attempts flossing, with supervision; and then allows assistance to complete the process. Washes face, without assistance.Covers mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with elbow or tissue. Demonstrates an awareness of routines for maintaining good health.

Caregiver Strategies: Ensure child receives regular checkups that include appropriate screenings, immunizations, preventive care, and information about child development. Provide on-going dental care for child. Encourage child to verbalize why personal hygiene is important. Demonstrate and explain the importance of hygiene for good health. Establish hand washing routines (wash hands using liquid soap, running water, and disposable towels) during appropriate times throughout day (on arrival, after handling pets, before and after eating, after toileting and blowing nose, after outdoor play). Provide chart with picture cues showing the sequence of steps to wash and dry hands.Use sunscreen to protect skin from sunburn.

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