Hygiene in the United States

Refugee children learning about U.S. health and hygiene from a cultural orientation provider

In the United States, refugees will need to understand the impact of hygiene on health, interpersonal relationships, and finding and keeping a job. In some cases, refugees may find that American hygiene norms differ from those in other places they have lived.

Download Lesson Plan
  • The practice of proper hygiene in the United States is inclusive of personal hygiene, cleanliness in the home, and respecting public spaces, including neighborhoods and the workplace.
  • There are basic actions that refugees can take to practice proper personal hygiene and maintain cleanliness in their homes and public spaces.
  • Practicing proper hygiene helps to maintain good health and prevent the spread of diseases both in and outside of the home and workplace.
  • There are also negative consequences for not maintaining the cleanliness of the home and following accepted hygiene practices in public spaces. These may include trouble with landlords and employers or fines for littering

After this lesson, refugees will be able to:

  • List the different areas of proper hygiene practices in the United States (personal, home, public spaces).
  • Identify a list of actions they can take to practice proper personal hygiene in the United States.
  • Identify a list of actions they can take to ensure cleanliness in the home and in public spaces.
  • Explain potential consequences of not practicing proper hygiene in the United States.
  • Hygiene in the U.S.  fact sheet (1 per participant, optional), podcast (optional), or video
  • Copies of scenarios (as selected)
  • Copies of Hygiene Checklist
  • Computer or other digital device for using Settle In app (optional)
  • Flip-chart
  • Post-it notes
  • Markers

The following resource provides access to an 11-minute video with hygiene messages for refugees. Videos are available in multiple languages, along with a transcript of the video: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Refugee Services Videos on Health.