It may surprise you to learn that body odor in children starts way before puberty, typically in the pre-teen years but sometimes as early as eight years old. The changes that begin to take place in the body, such as an increase in sweating lead to the inevitable potential for BO.
Causes of Body Odor in Children
- Eating or drinking lots of spicy foods like garlic and onions is a common cause of body odor in children.
- Body odor is also linked to poor hygiene. Kids who don’t shower frequently or those who don’t wash sweaty areas—around the neck, armpits, the back, the groin region, and the feet—thoroughly are more prone to body odor because bacteria can come in contact with sweat, causing bad odor.
- An underlying medical condition.
How to Get Rid of Body Odor in Children
You can prevent and get rid of body odor in children by teaching and encouraging proper hygiene. Not all kids who have BO need to use deodorant. There are other options, including:
- Making sure your child takes a bath or shower, at the very least, every morning plus a second bath or shower after playing sports or vigorous exercise to reduce the amount of bacteria on their skin, which makes sweat smell.
- Teaching kids to pay special attention to problem areas of the body that contain sweat glands and are known to have the worst body odor like the armpits, genitals, feet, around the neck, and the back.
- Ensuring kids wear clean clothes, underwear, and socks every day and not to recycle favorite items of clothing.
- If all else fails and the body odor persists, consider using a natural antibacterial body wash and/or body spray on a daily basis. These products incorporate a botanical known as African Wild Cucumber with powerful antibacterial properties that gets rid of odor-causing bacteria.
- Using a natural deodorant starting around age 10 or 11 is also helpful.