The common belief is that kids don’t get stinky until the hormonal changes of puberty kick in. And while that may still be the norm, it is definitely not uncommon for kids to start experiencing body odor at a much younger age — seven, six, even toddlers in some cases. This begs the question:
What causes B.O. in younger kids?
That’s what we’re here to answer. Read on!
1. Bathing habits
Poor bathing habits are probably the leading cause of body odor in children. “But my kid takes a bath every day!” you might exclaim. Frequent bathing is important, but perhaps even more important is HOW they’re bathing.
Sometimes it’s easy for us to assume that our kids know how to take a proper shower. When in reality, they’re just standing under the water for 15 minutes and perhaps rubbing a tiny dab of body wash on their stomachs. Show them how to scrub their armpits and properly wash their “special areas.” Show them how to balance against the wall so they can properly scrub their feet and get between each toe.
Getting specific about their bathing routine can go a long way towards cutting down on that funk!
2. Heavy activity
As we’ve discussed in prior blog posts, the recipe for B.O. is bacteria + sweat. So, the greater the presence of one or both of those ingredients, the greater the likelihood that body odor will develop.
Therefore, it stands to reason that active kids who sweat more are more likely to experience B.O. than less active kids. And, those long hours spent playing sports, with questionable levels of bathing afterwards, make it common for them to develop B.O. years before the onset of puberty.
If your child is stressed out about school, friend drama, sports tryouts, band practice, or any other aspect of their life, they can be more susceptible to B.O. Stress alters our body chemistry and increases sweat production, and as discussed above, more sweat gives the underarm bacteria more food to snack on, which leads to more B.O.
If you suspect your child might be stressed out, helping them find ways to alleviate that stress can reduce their body odor as well.
You might be starting to notice a theme here: things that create more sweat can create more B.O. And hot weather is no exception! You’ve probably noticed yourself getting a little stinkier in the summertime, and it’s common for kids to experience that, too.
The best tip here is all about the clothing your child wears. Natural fibers like cotton and linen are highly breathable and help heat escape from the body. Synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon are not breathable, so the heat (and sweat) gets trapped against the skin. So, try to dress your kids in loose-fitting cotton shirts, especially in the warmer summer months.
Being overweight can cause a child to sweat more as their body has to work a bit harder when active. It also can introduce sneaky little folds or crevices where bacteria love to hang out but that your child might be neglecting to properly clean.
If your child’s on the huskier side, be sure to review proper bathing technique with them and emphasize the importance of freshening up after heavy activity.
Continuing with the sweat theme, some kids (and adults) have a condition called hyperhydrosis, which is excessive sweating. Children with hyperhydrosis can sweat even when they’re not hot or engaged in physical activity. This obviously presents even more opportunity for an underarm bacteria party to develop.
If you think your child might have hyperhydrosis, we recommend consulting with a pediatrician to discuss treatment options. In addition to reducing those annoying sweat stains, these treatments can have the side benefit of lowering the prevalence and potency of B.O.
This is an interesting one that often gets overlooked, but there’s research that suggests certain foods can worsen body odor. Foods like garlic, cabbage, and even dairy, when consumed in large amounts, can lead to a higher concentration of sulfur in our sweat. And as you may know, sulfur doesn’t smell very good, so this can negatively impact our body’s scent.
A balanced diet, with plenty of veggies and a limited amount of these stink-forming foods, can help ensure that your child’s eating habits aren’t creating an unpleasant skin stench.
8. Genetic makeup
Lastly, there’s the X factor. Genetic makeup, body chemistry, DNA — whatever you want to call it, the fact remains that every body truly is different. And because of that fact, you can’t always pinpoint the exact cause of body odor. Some people are just genetically predisposed to be stinkier than others, even if they’re squeaky clean, totally unstressed, and they barely sweat. Thus is the enigma of life.
What can you do about it?
No matter which of the above causes you think might be affecting your child, there’s always an additional layer of stink insurance within easy grasp — deodorant!
Our natural deodorant was made specifically for kids and their more sensitive skin. Check it out if your child could use a little help staying fresh throughout the day.
0 Comments for “8 Causes of Child Body Odor Besides Puberty”