Does your child have bad body odour? Here’s what’s causing it

Does your child have bad body odour? Here’s what’s causing it

Unpleasant odours emanating from your child may mean that there’s something wrong with their body chemistry. Here's what you can do about it

Children don’t develop strong body odours until much later, when their hormones start to kick in full time and they develop hairs all over their body.

They may smell like sweat after playing outside in the sun, but when it comes to children, that should be the extent of body odour they possess.

If you notice, however, that there’s an unpleasant odour emanating from your child, there’s a huge chance that there’s something awry in their body chemistry.

According to a Baby Center article, unpleasant body may stem from a condition called precocious puberty, in which a child experiences puberty at a younger-than-normal age.

“This is very rare,” the report said. “If your child has any signs of it, such as breast development or underarm or pubic hair, contact your doctor.”

Meanwhile, pediatrician and author of Baby and Child Health Jennifer Shu says: “Body odour at this age is usually a sign that the body is maturing and the hormones are changing.”

When a child’s body matures, what comes into contact with dirt and normal skin bacteria, which then produces an unpleasant body odour.

How active a person’s sweat glands are also depends on per person. The more active they are, the more a person sweats, and more likely are the chances that they will develop body odour.

Find out the ways you can combat body odour in children on the next page

What you can do

For parents, making sure hat their children are bathing daily is one way to minimise their children developing bad body odour. Wearing clean clothes and regular laundering of sheets and towels also addresses this issue.

Other ways include avoiding feeding your children aromatic foods such as onions, garlic, and spicy meals.

If you find that these don’t address the problem, children can use mild deodorant or antiperspirant.

"Antiperspirants are thought to be safe but may be overkill for most kids. They stop the sweat itself—but sweat can be a good thing, since it helps the body cool down," Jennifer says.

You have to make sure, however, to avoid products that contain phthalates, a common chemical in personal-care products but can be harmful to kids.

Don’t be alarmed at the bodily changes your child is going through. Yes, they are maturing, but remember that this is a slow process that doesn’t take mere weeks or even months.

Photo credit: Jeremy Tarling

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