why were we taught to wash behind our ears as kids? It’s such an insignificant sized area from your body? Was it taught to everyone so kids with glasses wouldn’t be singled out?

21 views
0

why were we taught to wash behind our ears as kids? It’s such an insignificant sized area from your body? Was it taught to everyone so kids with glasses wouldn’t be singled out?

In: 0

There are crevices where the war meets the head. Diet can get in there and potentially cause cysts and such. I don’t think it had anything to do with kids who wear glasses.

Because a) those places do collect sweat and dirt, especially when you’re physically active. Left unchecked, they can still start to smell.

And b) attention to hygiene is important so reminding children to be diligent at all times is a useful trait to instill.

*Any* warm, hidden spaces that you don’t properly wash are pretty much an open invitation for all sorts of microbial nastiness. It’s just hygiene.

There was [an interesting thread](https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/ur8qy7/what_was_the_deal_with_the_important_of_cleaning/) on this in /r/Askhistorians recently. Emphasis on washing behind the ears of infants goes back at least to the 18th century. So certainly long before glasses were common and at a younger age.

Why cleaning behind the ears became so prominent culturally, I’m not sure. I’d guess part of the reason would be: 1) it’s an area that can trap dirt; 2) in the past children would have their head washed less frequently than now; 3) it’s an area that’s not visible to the child; 4) it could be visible to other people.

I suddenly understood this when I took my kids on a several-days camping trip. Behind their ears got FILTHY. Also their necks right under their chins.

I guess those are places that don’t get a lot of contact, so dirt just builds up there.