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Kids’ Body Odor: How You Can Help Your Kid With It

You know your child is the apple of your eye, and you’d do anything for them. But sometimes, parents become less than enthusiastic about their children’s hygiene habits.

Maybe they don’t notice some of the more subtle warning signs that something may be wrong with their kids, or perhaps they’re in denial about what’s going on.

Kids’ body odor (B.O.) tends to be associated with older children, teens, or young adults. Parents are usually pleasantly surprised when their babies appear without any B.O. 

However, kids leave behind the baby smell and become more prone to developing body odor as time passes. This may come as a shock for parents since they are accustomed to cute little smells from their children.

This article will review the various factors that cause a kid’s body odor and some solutions to help you deal with this common problem.

Causes of Body Odor in Children

kids' body odor

The primary reason for kids’ body odor development is that they don’t take care of themselves or are overactive in their sweat. As kids get closer to puberty, the adrenal glands wake up and activate sweat glands. 

One could say it is their body’s way of telling them to take a break, slow down and relax. However, maintaining personal hygiene by following the tips mentioned below will be helpful to prevent body odor.

Failure To Clean

One of the most common reasons for kids’ body odor development is that they are either unwilling or unable to clean themselves properly, like cleaning their underarm and groin areas. 

Wearing The Same Clothes Day After Day

t’s a common sight to see children wearing the same clothes day after day, especially if they enjoy playing outside in the dirt or doing other things that make their clothes dirty and smelly. 

These days, with modern washing machines and detergents, this should not be an issue. You can easily wash their clothes even if you are working or traveling.

Overactive Sweat Glands

kids covering their nose

Younger kids go through excessive sweating than adults, which means they tend to sweat more than adults, especially during hot weather or other conditions that cause them to overheat. This also explains why kids with cystic fibrosis tend to have particular B.O. issues. 

If toddlers have hyperhidrosis, they may have hyperactive sweat glands causing more sweat and body odor.

Food Allergies/Sensitivities

Younger kids who are allergic or sensitive to certain types of food end up developing body odor as a result. 

This is especially common for younger children since their immune systems haven’t developed yet. The foods that most commonly cause this condition are garlic, onion, cabbage, broccoli, beans, and cauliflower.

Undeveloped Hygiene Habits

Kids develop hygiene habits based on their parents’ or guardians’ practices. 

If you don’t take your kids to the dentist regularly or put them through proper grooming routines at home, chances are they won’t do it either. Hence, you should follow good hygiene and grooming practices at home.

Not Washing The Right Way

Even if your kids take a bath or shower regularly, they may not be doing it properly. This could result in them developing B.O. over time. 

If you think that your child’s hygiene habits are poor and might be causing the issue, you should put them through proper hygiene training to help correct the problem.

Tips for Washing Your Baby The Right Way

kid covering his nose

If your kids are not adequately washing themselves, you need to show them how to do so. Below are some tips that can help you teach your kids to take care of their hygiene properly.

Make It A Routine

The best thing you can do is make a hygiene routine for your kids. Set aside a specific time of the day, preferably before or after they go to bed. Let them practice proper hygiene techniques such as washing their face and hands thoroughly and brushing their teeth.

If possible, let them watch you do it first before trying it themselves.

Take Them To The Dentist Regularly

If your kid doesn’t have any cavities, then there’s no need to worry about taking them to the dentist every six months. 

However, you should still book regular dental checkups, especially if your kids are in the habit of eating sugary snacks or drinking sugary drinks.

Cut Down Their Sugar Intake

Your children may know that they shouldn’t eat too much sugar, but because it tastes so good, they end up doing it anyway. 

One way to solve this problem is by gradually cutting their intake over time instead of removing it completely from their diet. You can also ask your doctor about using artificial sweeteners as an alternative to cane sugar.

Bad Breath

child covering his nose

Kids who have bad breath due to dental or gum problems develop B.O. over time since the same odors that cause this bad breath can also cause body Odor. 

Parents must pay attention to any signs of bad breath and take their kids to the dentist every six months for a good cleaning and examination.

Tips for Dealing With Bad Breath In Kids

The first thing you need to do if your kid starts complaining about bad breath is to take them to see a dentist. 

This might seem like a simple task, but kids are always trying to avoid it since it means they have to open their mouths wide and say “ahh” for the dentist’s tongue depressor.

If you can’t get your child to the dentist, try some of these home remedies for bad breath in children that will help ease their discomfort. 

The remedies include chewing sugarless gum, brushing with baking soda toothpaste, apple cider vinegar rinses, and keeping their tongues clean by gently scraping it with a soft-bristled toothbrush after meals or at least twice daily.

While these techniques may help with your kid’s bad breath, the best way to keep this condition from coming back is to teach them how to brush and floss properly and eat a healthy diet. 

A healthy diet includes lots of raw fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in chlorophyll – things like celery, parsley, and spinach – which help neutralize the odors caused by bacteria growing on your teeth and gums.

But if you suspect that something else may be causing your child’s bad breath, it’s best to take them to see their physician or a dermatologist as soon as possible because this could be due to an underlying health condition such as diabetes.

Lack of Sleep and Exhaustion

kids playing with huge ball

Lack of sleep and exhaustion can lead to body odor problems in children. If your kids are not getting enough rest, they will be unable to clean themselves properly.

Another common reason for this is that parents may not allow their kids a proper amount of sleep at night, depriving them of the rest they need to function properly.

Some Medical Issues Can Also Cause Body Odor in Babies

Some medical conditions can cause body odor in children, including certain skin infections, fish odor syndrome, rashes, and ringworm. Some genetic abnormality causes a rare condition called ‘fish odor syndrome,’ which may cause a fishy smell in children’s breath, urine, and sweat. 

Although rare, your child’s doctor can test for these and other issues and help decide the best way to treat your child.

Some kids may even develop B.O. due to the side effects of the medications they take for these infections if their physicians neglect to warn them about this problem beforehand.

Symptoms of Body Odor in Kids

Kids body odor

It is pretty easy to distinguish body odor from normal body odor in kids since they tend to have more active sweat glands than adults. The most common symptom of B.O. in children is a musty smell from their clothes or the skin beneath them. 

Tips to Reduce Body Odor in Kids

The first thing you should do if you think your child has B.O. is to take them to see their physician or a dermatologist. If the problem comes from poor hygiene habits, it’s best to put your kids through proper training to avoid developing this condition later on.

It might also help control things like food allergies and sensitivities, especially if particular types of food make them sweat more than usual.

You may also want to try regular bathing with antibacterial soap or detergent. Just make sure not to use deodorant soap as this will only cause further problems for your kid. Some kids have sensitive skin, so you might want to try a fragrance-free deodorant or antiperspirant.

If none of these tips works, it might be time to try some natural remedies for B.O. in kids. These can include baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide mixed with water at a 3 to 1 ratio. You might also try sprinkling cornstarch into your child’s shoes or clothing to absorb the sweat that causes this condition.

How To Help Your Child Stay Clean And Fresh-Smelling All Day Long?

Kids body odor

Always encourage your child to stay clean. Teach them good hygiene habits early on so that they don’t have to deal with the embarrassment of being dirty or smelly later on.

It also helps create a special time every day for bathing and grooming so that your kids are more likely to follow through with their hygiene routines regularly instead of waiting until they are filthy before washing themselves off.

Keeping your children’s clothes, towels, bedsheets, and washcloths clean will help keep B.O. at bay since they won’t be absorbing sweat over time. It’s also important to make sure that it is dried properly after washing anything in hot water. 

Leaving damp towels lying around can lead to bacterial growth, which causes B.O., especially if this is in close contact with your child’s skin.

If you suspect that your child is developing body odor problems, it’s best to get them checked out by a dermatologist right away. If it turns out that poor hygiene habits are the problem, you can put them through proper training to learn how to stay clean and fresh-smelling all day long.

Other Tips For Dealing With Body Odor In Kids

For older kids who have B.O. problems, you might consider giving them some advice on dealing with this matter from their peers. This can be achieved if they attend summer camp or other functions where they will be around people their age who have had similar experiences before.

They may even get better tips from friends and classmates if they ask the right questions about how these kids have dealt with B.O. in the past. As always, if you have questions about your child’s body odor or any other issue, talk to your child’s pediatrician.

This is especially important if your child is entering puberty since most kids start to develop body odor problems. You should also pay attention to how they dress during these years so that you can help them control any B.O. problems that might be present at this stage of their lives.

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