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Q&A:
Why does my preschooler have body odor?

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Question


My 4-year-old daughter seems to have a true body odor when she is hot. I've tried to use a little deodorant and that seems to help, but why does a 4-year-old have body odor? Is this going to be a real problem when she is older and starts to develop?

Answer


We think that young children should be sweet-smelling at all times, but unfortunately that's not always the case. Even small infants can have stinky feet after wearing shoes and socks for a while. Vaginal odors, armpit odors, and bad breath all can plague small children. If your 4-year-old has no other signs of early puberty, such as breast buds under the nipples, hair in the pubic area or under the arms, or a sudden growth spurt, this is probably just a normal but annoying variation. If your child does have one or more of these signs, contact your health care provider.

While deodorant is one solution, my concern is that her still-delicate skin may develop some sensitivity to the chemicals. If you use a deodorant, be sure it is a hypoallergenic preparation. There are some other products that can absorb or prevent odor without irritating the skin, but you may have to consult a dermatologist for recommendations.  
 
 
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