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Help! My Son Has B.O.!

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One mom's 8-year-old son has developed body odor. Is this normal? A pediatrician weighs in.

mom pinching nose son has BO

Bridget, a momlogic friend on Gather, wrote to us about her 8-year-old son having body odor:

"I'm still in shock! How can my baby already have B.O.? He's too cute and hairless to have B.O., right?! LOL! As his mom, I just can't help but think that he's too young to have B.O. already.

"A few nights ago, we were playing hockey in the living room together as a family. Girls against boys -- of course, Stephy and I were kicking the boys' butts. Well, Chandler scored a goal and went to give his dad a "high 5," and that's when it happened. My hubby could hardly stand the smell that was coming from Chandler's little pits!

"Hubby told me to smell Chandler's pits, so of course I did. EWWWWWW, it was awful! How can such little pits have such big B.O.? He's never had it before, so it was totally new.

"We gave him a deodorant of his own and told him to use it every morning. He thinks he's so cool! But I just can't help but be shocked at the fact that my 8-year-old baby actually needed to use it."

We asked Dr. Cara Natterson to weigh in on this matter. "It's actually not uncommon for 8-year-olds to develop body odor," she says. "As hormones start to play a role in pre-tween bodies, for some kids the sweat glands respond by increasing sweat production. When this happens, the bacteria that normally grow on the skin multiply because the environment is hot and humid. It's these bacteria that make sweat smell. For all of these reasons, good basic hygiene (like daily showers that include washing with soap) and the use of deodorants can be very important for school-aged kids. And it's not always the armpits ... for some kids, the feet are the sweatiest (and the stinkiest)."

When did your kids develop body odor?

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
chris September 3, 2009, 8:03 AM

OMG…this is soooo normal! just a couple of months ago, I too happen to smell my sweet and adorable 9 yr old daughter and had to back away…MAN did she stink! But let me also tell you that my 14 yr old son smells good because he showers everyday, wears deodrant and AXE body spray (needs to attract the girls you know) but his bedroom now smells like a gym locker room! He throw wet towels all over the floor that sits there for days on end (I no longer clean his room…he’s old enough to do it himself) and for some reason no towel can be used more than once and he needs atleast two each day to dry off. You gonna love them!!!

kerry September 3, 2009, 10:31 AM

My 9 year old son came to me to have a sniff as a boy in his class was getting really teased for having BO. He had a slight start of it so we picked out some yummy smelling Lemon roll on deoderant from Avalon Organics and he’s been using it ever since.

Awesome book for boys…Puberty Boy, forget the author though.

MarMar September 3, 2009, 12:23 PM

Folks, my little girl is SIX and was reeking all summer until we started making her wear deodorant. Her pediatrician told me that as long as she doesn’t start developing any other signs of puberty in the next few years, it’s OK. My little one thinks she’s a “big girl” now for wearing deodorant. Even better: I couldn’t remember how old I was when I started wearing it, and when I asked my parents, they said I was FOUR. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t start my period until I was the nice, normal age of 12, so apparently it isn’t always a sign of premature puberty.

ame i. September 3, 2009, 4:36 PM

Ha, this is so funny.
I remember being so shocked while hugging my then-8-year-old-now-11-year-old older daughter. My brain screamed “nooooo!”. My brain screamed the same sound when she was 10 and her Monthly Visitor started visiting. We had already had The Talk by then b/c my Visitor started visiting me when I was 10.
At 11, daughter the 1st is 5’6”. It seems as though we who mature younger get to experience the “grown up” issues younger than some.

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