Question: How do you know if your Mom is a blogger?
Answer: Everyone in the world knows your private business!!
I want to make it clear that this is not a post about my children (per se) but just some great advice from one mom to another. Now that I have cleared my family’s good name. . . let’s talk about stinky kids shall we? Although most busy children do smell like dirt and dogs, tweens and teens are more prone to B.O. This is a serious problem not just for all of us who have to smell them, but for the kids themselves. All kidding aside, body odor can be terribly humiliating for a child and parents need to be there to help their child find some solutions.
1. The main thing to do to get rid of body odor is to simply explain HOW and WHY it happens. Body odor is not from sweat alone, but happens when wetness of sweat and hormones mixes with the germs and bacteria on the skin. When this bacteria has a warm, wet place to grow it does, and fast! It becomes smelly too. This does not mean that your child is dirty or gross and make sure they know that it is a common problem for everyone who goes through puberty and on in to adulthood. It just means that you have to take extra steps to keep the wetness and the bacteria from meeting up and throwing a stink party in your pits (or feet, or wherever).
2. The first best solution is to keep the stinky areas clean. This means showering with antibacterial soap and rinsing well with water. NEVER GO TO BED DIRTY! You have to clean the bacteria off of your skin and not let it grow over night! Your teen needs to know that they have to make an effort to clean, not just run some water on themselves. Remember- the antibacterial soap will help kill the perpetrator.
3. The next way to keep it at bay is to use antiperspirant (not just a deodorant) at all times. Right after your child takes a shower (at night) and towel dries really well to remove the moisture component, they need to use a thin layer of antiperspirant on the areas that get smelly. This can be the inside of the thighs, armpits, even the balls of the feet. And tell them not to over do it. Just a swipe or spray is enough. Then they need to do this again in the morning before dressing so they have a new layer on for the day. If the problem persists try “clinical strength” antiperspirants.
4. If your child is having an issue at school or camp or child care, make sure to pack them with some items that can help them keep their cool. An extra shirt and pair socks is a great idea (and help them think of an excuse to tell their friends why they need to change). Also some antibacterial wipes and gel to clean up a little in the bathroom midday can really help their smell and their confidence. Throw some deodorizing or medicated body powder in there too to help dry it out, cool it off and make it smell a little better.
5. Watch their diet and drink LOTS of water. If your child is eating a lot of fats and oils this is going to hurt the B.O. situation. Also foods that are strong smelling like garlic, curry, asparagus and fish all smell bad when mixed with sweat and bacteria. Your child won’t necessarily have to stop eating these foods if they will just dilute their body with lots of clean, fresh water!
*If all else fails or your tween or teen is stubborn, take them to the doctor for some intervention and medical advice.
Great discussion of a difficult subject. I remember the summer I worked as a camp counselor for teens…how I wish some of their parents had been a bit more proactive! I also think it’s important to point out that body spray is not a substitute for showering, no matter how much is used.
Great info! I didn’t know that by drinking more water it would help the BO problem. I know there are times I walk in my son’s room and the smell is overwhelming. I am going to start pushing more water. Thanks!
Some great tips! Thank you for sharing.
Yes, good point Merry! Only showering gets rid of the bacteria and the smell. . . no one wants to smell like pits and vanilla body spray, or pits and baby powder. . . gotta keep clean for sure.
Thank you for your comment Tammy. I have 2 adult kids and a tween and we have smelled our fair share here too!
Thank yo for the support Terri 🙂 You are welcome.
This came at a great time. I’m dealing with an early bloomer :/
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