Hygiene poverty affecting primary school children, says charity

Hygiene poverty affecting primary school children, says charity

According to a survey by Charity In Kind Direct, primary school children are arriving for their lessons unwashed and in dirty clothes because their parents cannot afford to buy washing powder, soap or shampoo.

43 per cent of parents who took part in the survey said they have had to go without basic hygiene or cleaning products while almost one in five admit their child wears the same underwear at least two days in a row.

The survey involved 2,000 parents of primary school children and 100 teachers across the UK.

In a parallel survey, more than half of primary teachers who took part said they provide pupils with washing powder, soap and shampoo on a weekly basis.

46 per cent of teachers surveyed said they see children who are bullied because of hygiene issues.

Child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson told the Guardian: “Children’s self-esteem is greatly affected by the reaction of those around them – and if they are stigmatised, ridiculed or rejected by their peers because of poor basic hygiene, their sense of self-worth will quickly nose-dive.

“No child wants to be taunted because they are dirty, or because their clothes are filthy. They’ll start to lose interest in their education, their friendships will suffer, and they’ll be reluctant to attend school.”

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