Body Odor In Children: Some Causes And Remedies

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

It is very normal for the children to sweat and since these kids are active all day, their bodies and clothes also tend to smell a little. Though body odor is inevitable in kids, but it is not as prominent as it is in adults. Most of the times, regular bathing and following a proper hygiene can help deal with body odor in children. Want to know Some Causes And Remedies For Body Odor In children? Read on.
Sometimes body odor becomes a cause of worry for both the children and their parents. This is when there may be a need of medical intervention. Read on to know what causes body odor in children and ways to deal with it.
body odour in kids

The Anatomy Of Sweat
Is Body Odor In A Child Normal?
5 Causes Of Body Odor In Children
Symptoms Of Body Odor In Kids
Tips To Prevent Body Odor In Kids

The Anatomy Of Sweat

Our bodies contain two kinds of sweat glands: The eccrine glands and the apocrine glands.
Sweat is a combination of water and salt and it cools the body as it evaporates. The eccrine glands are present all over your body and help to cool you down when you are feeling too hot due to hot weather, a fever, spicy food or exertion. The apocrine glands are present under your arms and near your genitals. After the kid reaches puberty, these glands produce oils as well as sweat. They also cause sweating when you are feeling hot or are stressed about something.
pregnancy pillow

Is Body Odor In A Child Normal?

Generally body odor in babies and children before eight years is not noticeable. However, kids in their preteens or entering or nearing puberty may have a distinct odor. So if your preteen or teenager has a bad odor, it could be a sign of puberty. It is noticed that most girls reach puberty earlier than boys. So if you have a daughter who is around eight years of age and her body smells like that of an adult, then it is a sign that she is growing and nearing puberty. Similarly, boys emit body odor after the age of nine. So if you have a three year old who smells unusual, then this may not be normal and should be taken care of.

5 Causes Of Body Odor In Children

Here are 5 possible causes of body odor in your child:

1. Hygiene:

Poor hygiene is one of the most common cause of body odor in kids. If the kid is not taking a bath every day or not washing his underarms, feet or pubic area properly, then the bacteria accumulated there can cause bad odor in your child

2. Food habits:

What we put into our body is what comes out. So the food your kid eats has a direct relation not only with his breath but also his body odor. If your child eats any smelly food like onion, garlic, red meat, eggs, etc., he may start to emit bad body odor. This is because after these foods are digested, their smell seeps through the skin pores and causes odor

3. Puberty:

Body odor may be a sign of puberty in your child. This is the time your child goes through a lot of hormonal changes that causes a lot of change in their body and behavior. So if your child is attaining puberty, body odor is normal and not a cause of worry. Find out everything about early puberty in girls here.

4. Underlying medical condition:

A very distinct body odor in your kid may indicate an underlying medical condition like diabetes, liver or kidney problem or inflammation in your child. If your child is sweating unusually then this may also indicate that your child may have hyperhidrosis. It is necessary to check with your doctor to rule out any of these conditions

5. Fish Odor Syndrome Or Trimethylaminuria:

Fish odor syndrome is a rare condition that is caused because of abnormal production of flavin enzyme. It is a metabolic disorder in children that stops the chemical trimethylaminuria breaking down into trimethylamine oxide. As a result, this chemical gets accumulated, causing smelly urine, breath and sweat. The odor caused due to this chemical is funky smelling like a fish so it is also known as fish odor syndrome

Symptoms Of Body Odor In Kids

Body odor is a stinky smell that comes from a particular part of the body like the underarms, feet or groin. Odd and funky smell is the main symptom of body odor. When the endocrine system is affected by an infection in the body, these are some common symptoms that you will notice in your kid.

  • Sweating excessively
  • Sweating at night
  • Hands are cold
  • Losing weight

If body odor is caused due to some severe medical problem in your child, then your child may also complain of symptoms like:

  • Chest pain or heaviness
  • Blurred vision
  • Breathlessness
  • Confusion

kid taking bath

Tips To Prevent Body Odor In Kids

Now you understand Some Causes And Remedies For Body Odor In children. You can prevent body odor in kids by using the following tips:

1. Maintaining a good hygiene:

This is the topmost tip to prevent body odor. If your child is eight years or less, help them to keep themselves clean and teach them about maintaining good hygiene. If you have a preteen or a teenager at home talk to him about the importance of hygiene. Educate them that they should use clean towels, clothes, socks, etc., every day.

2. Anti-bacterial soap:

When the body sweat comes in the contact with bacteria then it starts generating a bad odor. So it is a good idea to use an anti-bacterial soap for your child as these soaps play a great role in keeping bacteria at bay and preventing body odor in children

3. Bath is important:

Teach your child the importance of taking bath every day. Tell him to use soap and properly wash and scrub his underarms, genitals, feet as these parts of the body have a tendency to sweat and emit odor

4. Change the inner wear often:

If you want to save your child from the activated sweat glands that can cause body odor, then inculcate in him the habit of changing his under garments every day. By ensuring this your child will feel fresh and there will be no sign of sweat in his body

5. Introduce them to deodorants and antiperspirant:

For some kids, bathing alone will not help to prevent body odor throughout the day, especially when they are super active. So you can introduce them to either a deodorant or antiperspirant. Deodorants are good at covering up the smell when your kid sweats while antiperspirants help to reduce the amount of sweat produced. But make sure your kid uses deodorants or antiperspirants that are natural and unscented to avoid any kind of skin harm as kids have sensitive skin

6. Lemon juice formula:

This can be the best natural home remedy to control body odor. Add a few drops of lemon juice in your kid’s bath water. It will help to balance pH level of body by decreasing bacterial growth and keep his body dry
Now you know Some Causes And Remedies For Body Odor In children. Hopefully, the above tips will help to keep the body odor in your kids at bay and your kids smell better. But if none of the above tips help to prevent body odor in your child, then please talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor may require further evaluation and conduct certain test to rule out any underlying medical condition. Do share your experience in the comments section below.
Happy Parenting!

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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