( By Dr. Vithal Prabhu )

< Reading Room Home
Go To:

Health And Hygiene


  1. Bathe twice or atleast once a day, paying special attention to underarms and between the legs.

  2. Boys should retract foreskin of penis to remove smegma, a cheesy and illsmelling substance on the glans.

  3. Girls should separate the labia to wash vulva prior to washing of anus. Water from anus should not drain towards vagina and urethra so as to avoid infection of these parts.

  4. Change the underwear daily. The underclothes should be made of absorbant, soft and porous material. Nylon or terelene does not absorb the perspiration effectively and may lead to fungus infection of skin.

  5. Menstrual Hygiene for girls:

    1. Sanitary napkins or tampons should be used for absorbing menstrual flow.
    2. Sanitary napkins should be changed frequently depending upon the menstrual flow.
    3. Wash the genitals with soap and water before using a fresh napkin.
    4. Used sanitary napkin should be put in a paper envelope or plastic bag and thrown in the dustbin. It should not be flushed in the toilet.
    5. Soft cotton cloth folded to make a pad can be used in place of sanitary napkin. These are cleaned with soap and hot water and dried for reuse.
    6. There is no harm in cooking, taking bath, washing hair, playing sports, or swimming.

  6. Common rules of hygiene should be followed, such as:

    1. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet and also before and after handling the food.

    2. Do not eat road side food, food kept open and food dropped on floor. Use boiled water for drinking.

    3. Brush the teeth twice a day. Clean the mouth after every meal. Make a habit of brushing the teeth with a mixture of bakeing soda and salt powder (equal amount) at night before retiring. It removes acidity of food and prevents before retiring. It removes acidity of food and prevents decay of teeth.

    4. Do not use tooth brush, towel, razor or clothes belonging to others.

    5. Hold handkerchief while coughing and sneezing.

    6. Trim the nails every week.

    7. Do not spit, vomit or urinate on the road side.

    8. Do not throw garbage on the street.

    9. Do not use Kajal/Surma since these are not sterilized. 1

    10. Hold the book 12 to 16 inches away from your eyes while reding.

    11. Do not put bob-pin or stick in your ear. Cotton wich may be used or cleaning.

    12. Do not kiss children mouth to mouth.

    13. Do not allow insect or dust settle on the food, keep the food covered.

    14. Do not put your finger in ear, nose, mouth or eyes.

    15. Make a habit of going to toilet daily and regularly at a particular time.

    16. Keep your home and surroundings clean.

    17. Do not have sexual relations outside the marriage since there is risk of pregnancy, STD-HIV infection.

Self-Examination of the Breasts:

Every woman should examine her breasts every month after her menstrual period is over. This enables her detect any swelling is her breast. Swelling could be benign (harmless) or cancerous. The following technique should be used:

  1. Stand in front of the mirror and inspect your breasts visually in the mirror with the arms relaxed on your sides; then with hands on your head; and finally with hands on your hips pushing down, look for: Flattening or bulging in either breast, Puckering of skin, Dimpling, Redness or One of the nipples drawn into the breast. Squeeze the nipple to see any discharge.

  2. Lie flat on your back with left hand under your head. Feel every quadrant of your left breast using the flat part of your fingers of right hand. Move your fingers in a circular manner. Cover the entire area of the left breast.

  3. Repeat the same procedure to examine your right breast with your right hand under your head and by using fingers of your left hand.


India's diet is well balanced as far as the food items are concerned, since it contains all the requirements like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins, but their quantity is not balanced, i.e., we take more of carbobydrates and fats but less of proteins, vitamins and minerals. That is why many Indians have a big belly and feel tired soon.

The daily diet of adolescents should contain: Milk (or curds, butter milk) 4 cups Cereals (rice, wheat, ragi, maize, bajara 3 katori Dal and Pulses (moong, bean, pea, soyabean 1 1/2 katori Green vagetables (math, chauli, methi,) palak etc. 1 katori Fruit vegetables (tondli, bhendi, gawar, brinjal 1 Katori Roots and Tuber (potato, carrot, radish, beatroot 60 gms Fruits: banana, apple, chikoo, mango 2 Jaggery/sugar 8 teaspoonful Oil/Ghee/Butter 8 Groundnuts A handful. Egg, Fish/Mutton 60 gms (Vegetarians should take 1 cup extra milk instead). (Cup=6 ounches, Kaotri of medium size=4 ounces).

The adolescents should discuss with their mother regarding the distribution of these food items and about variety in their preparations. Though the total diet looks too much at a galance, it is easily digestable if judiciously distributed in 4 parts, tasty dishes are prepared, and a variety is introduced.

Exercise: The adolescents are highly impressed by seeing the muscles of body buildres and hence they resort to bullworker, push ups, sit ups and weight lifting. The real aim of exercise is physical fitness, which is not fulfilled by these excerises. Physical fitness depends upon the following:

  1. Cardio respiratory efficiency: This is most important. The heart and the lungs should function at their best. Running, fast walking are the exercises for cardio-respiratory efficiency.

  2. Flexibility of joints: Yoga postures are the best to serve the purpose.

  3. Endurance and power of the muscles: These are required for manual workers for doing repetitive jobs and for pushing or pulling of heavy objects like rice bags.

There fore, running/fast walking and yoga are important exercises for the adolescents. Swimming and "Surya Namaskars" are also beneficial exercises. They should take interest in sports. Though sports do not fully satisfy the requirements for physical fitness, sports have an entertaiment value also. It also teaches sportsmanship and the ways to deal with "winning" and "loosing" in life.

Yoga and sports provide mental and phyical relaxation. Girls should not refrain from taking the exercise thinking that they will develop thick muscles and lose their feminity. If girls feel shy to run on the road, they should do skippingon a rope or running at one place at home.

Home  |   The Library  |   Ask an Expert  |   Help Talks  |   Blog  |   Online Books  |   Online Catalogue  |   Downloads  |   Contact Us

Health Library © 2024 All Rights Reserved. MiracleworX Web Designers In Mumbai