Help Your Tween Conquer Body Odor

Tween boy putting on deodorant
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When your child enters puberty, everything changes. In addition to mood swings and menstruation, changes in hormones result in an increase in perspiration. That sometimes means in increase or change in your child's body odor. Body odor can be a social burden to tweens who are already self-conscious and afraid of sticking out from the crowd. At the same time, they might not always be aware that they have a problem with personal hygiene.

If your tween isn't always the most hygienic, there are ways to encourage your child to boost hygiene practices and reduce body odor. Below are a few tactics that should help.

Take a Shower

Younger children can go a day or two without a shower or bath and nobody (except mom and dad) will know. But if your tween misses the opportunity to clean-up, his friends, teachers, and other family members will almost surely notice. Be sure your child bathes or showers daily. If he is involved in sports or sweats excessively, another shower might be in order.

Take the time to show your child how to properly clean from head to toe, including under the arms, and in the groin or pelvic area. Be sure he also scrubs his feet and the back. A back scrubber will help him reach areas he can't reach on his own.

To encourage your child to shower or bathe, take him shopping so he can pick out soaps, shampoos, and other products that he'd like to use.

Wash Those Clothes

Your child's clothes may look clean, but if he ran from one class to another, or perspired a lot on his walk home from school, then it's likely his clothes aren't as clean as you think they are. Clothes can harbor the bacteria that cause odor, so keep his clothes clean. Use this as a teaching opportunity to show your tween how to sort clothes by color, use the washing machine and dryer, and fold clean clothes before putting them away.

Time for Deodorant

At some point in the tween years, you'll have to introduce your child to deodorant or antiperspirants. Antiperspirants minimize sweating, which can cut or cut down on body odor. Deodorants and antiperspirants come in a variety of fragrances, so let your tween choose one that he likes. If your child has sensitive skin, a fragrance-free antiperspirant or deodorant might be the best option.

It's perfectly fine for your tween to reapply deodorant or antiperspirant before gym class, sports activities, or other physical activities. Keep a deodorant stick at home, and have your child keep one at school in his gym locker.

Think About the Feet

Tweens are famous for running around in sneakers or shoes without the benefit of socks. While they may find it comfortable, going without socks is a recipe for some serious foot odor.

Look for 100 percent cotton socks or socks made of materials that breathe or wick away moisture or perspiration. Every now and then, check your child's shoes to see if it's time to throw them in the washing machine, or deodorize them with baby powder, baking soda or deodorizing shoe spray. Charcoal deodorizing shoe inserts also help cut down on foul odors.

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