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Auntietesa
Auntietesa asks:
Q:

Should a three year old in a pre-school program be expected to wipe his own nose with NO assistance given & keep his face dry until parent gets him?

In Topics: Kindergarten readiness, My child's growth and development
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Sep 20, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Yes, they can and should be taught to do so for the sake of the public health.  If you are in school, it should be an expectation just like toileting.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (8)

pigtoria
pigtoria writes:
Hi Auntietesa,

I used to be a preschool teacher (and did my practicum in another preschool) and yes, in both of these schools, there is an unwritten policy that teachers are supposed to let children wipe their own nose.  The primary focus of preschool is to teach children to be independent.  When a child sneezes, I usually ask him/her to go get a tissue and wipe his nose.  Depending on the maturity of the child, I sometimes go along and watch to see whether the child wipes his nose and/or face clean.  If not, then I will give it another good wipe.  Unfortunately, there are some teachers who purposely leave the dirty mucus on the childâs face as a message to the child and parents that s/he must learn how to wipe his nose.  If you feel uncomfortable about the situation, I would talk to the head teacher about it â for sanitary reason if nothing else.  Good luck!

Hope this helps!

Vicki
> 60 days ago

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Auntietesa
Auntietesa writes:
I want to make sure I understand that the experts are suggesting that a three year old who has a runny nose, busy playing with toys is suppose to be able to, stop-think go grab a tissue & clean his/her nose without being told, and if he/she does not is allowed to continue play and allowed to let it DRY on his face until the end of the day?  Three year olds have to be SHOWN, TOLD, and have it demonstrated by parents and teachers alike.  They need to be given the patience, respect and understanding because they are learning proper hygiene habits and it is NOT a natural instinct.  Talking about cleanliness and health issues - how about a child who does not clean their nose and hands properly and allowed to continue their day as is because the "parent needs to teach them before they go to PRE-SCHOOL!"  I am a teacher of much older children, they have to be reminded at times too.  Not to mention, there are SOME families that have both parents working to support their family and that poor child NEEDS an adult to TEACH them some of the daily life skills because ITS NOT THE CHILD'S FAULT.  Come on folks...three year old children have to be taught and they have to PRACTICE and if they don't clean their nose completely, show them with love and patience and don't let them pass germs all over the place because IT'S NOT YOUr JOB! If you think that way, then you shouldn't be working with children.  Yes, I answered my own question.
> 60 days ago

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Totaltutor
Totaltutor writes:
I disagree, I think that the teacher should be able to help the child.  My daughter needed help with this task at home until the age of 4.

I have a expert developmental therapist on my educational talk show.  You can call in and ask questions.  The show airs Friday's at 4:30 eastern.  It streams live at www.wrct.org.
> 60 days ago

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mom_of_1
mom_of_1 writes:
I taught my 2 year old son to blow/wipe his nose with he was about 1 1/2 years old and now that he is going to a toddler school which doesn't expect him wipe his own nose, he can do it but needs to be told to get a tissue and wipe his nose. A 2 or 3 year old should not be expected to wipe their own nose rather they should be told and shown how to do it, if they don't already know how. Not only should the teacher help/show the child how to do this but parents should also teach their children at an early age to wipe their nose, cover their mouth when coughing, etc. whether the child is in school or not.
A child's first teacher is his/her parent(s).
> 60 days ago

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minnielove82701
minnielove8... writes:
yes
> 60 days ago

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SBIL84
SBIL84 writes:
No, it is entirely developmentally appropriate for three-year-olds to require assistance with nose-wiping.
> 60 days ago

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badass1
badass1 writes:
your child is a very normal child u can help to tissue train him by letting him blow his own nose when needed. to expect him to blow his own nose is not normal let him bring himself to that stage on his own with little tips from his loving parents :)
> 60 days ago

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SingleMommy
SingleMommy writes:
If he can't handle this task, it clearly indicates to me that he is too young to be put in a daycare. The child still needs to be with his mommy at this age. Mommy bonding with mommy lovingly wiping his nose.
> 60 days ago

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