Most boys should start using deodorant when they go through puberty. Some, however, have a visible body odor and must wear deodorant every day just before the onset of puberty. .
The first signs of puberty
Because body odor is related to puberty, it is important to determine if your child has already started puberty. Girls usually start puberty between 8 and 13 years old, while children usually start between 9 and 14 years old. .
Signs of puberty may include breast development in girls, vocal changes in boys, and pubic or armpit hair in both sexes. If you notice that any of these signs start too early (before 8 years for a girl and 9 years for a boy), talk to your pediatrician.
Early puberty (early) may occur for a known reason, But other medical conditions can cause some of these changes. You can also ask your doctor to look hyperhidrosis, the medical term for excessive sweating, which often begins in childhood. .
Body odor management
If your child has not started puberty, but has a strong body odor, it may be because they are sweating more than other children or because they have more odor-causing bacteria on their skin. However, there are ways you can help your child control odor beyond the use of deodorant. For example, it is important to teach your child basic elements of personal hygiene , including:
- Take a bath daily ; Let them choose soaps and other products they would like to use to stimulate the bath.
- Shower after doing sports or other activities that cause sweating.
- Wash all parts of the body , including armpits, genitals and feet more prone to odors, bathing or showering
- Wear underwear , socks and clothes clean every day.
- Choose loose, breathable clothing , which is not occlusive and can help them sweat less
- Follow your diet to see if something you eat, such as garlic, onions, or spicy food, can cause or contribute to body odor.
You can also change the brand of soap your child uses. A different soap may be more effective in controlling odor.
Deodorants for Tweens
If these tips do not escape the smell of your child’s body, you may want to introduce him to the use of deodorant. The products marketed for tweens or teenagers are not very different from those for adults, but children often prefer a product made especially for them.
Degree, Tom’s of Maine and Fresh Kidz make deodorants for children. Many larger brands, such as Secret and Ban, produce fragrant and brightly colored deodorants for teens which can also be used for younger children. If you want a natural option (no phthalates or parabens), Tom’s of Maine, Junior Varsity and Fresh Kidz make them for kids.
You can also buy the child a combination of deodorant and antiperspirant, which may be needed if the child sweats a lot. While deodorant masks the odor caused by perspiration, antiperspirants use ingredients, usually aluminum-based complexes, that stop moisture by blocking the sweat glands. .
Some people are worried about the aluminum content of the antiperspirant, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. Research at this time is insufficient and more studies are needed to determine the degree of risk of using aluminum-containing products on the skin. Aluminum salts are the only antiperspirant ingredient tested and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to control humidity.
A word from Verywell
It is certainly not uncommon for active prepubertal children, even those who practice good hygiene, to need deodorant. Because they are slightly younger than average to need deodorant, talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions or if your general hygiene tips don’t help.