Kids grow up fast, despite how much you want them to stay little forever. In the blink of an eye, they go from toddlers to school age to puberty. This brings a whole host of changes to deal with, including body odor. Of course, you may notice that your kids are a bit smellier than usual, even before those bodily changes happen. So, when should kids start using deodorant?
Kids don’t all go through puberty at the same time. For girls, it can happen between the ages of 8 and 13, while boys start puberty between 9 and 14. The first signs of this change include new hair growth in certain areas of the body for both genders, as well as individual changes, like breast development for girls and vocal changes in boys. The sweat glands also start to create more moisture, leading to more sweating and body odor than you’re used to in your child.
Some kids go through these changes before you expect them to. Precocious puberty brings these symptoms on early, plus there are some medical conditions that could cause similar changes to your child’s body. If you’re concerned, be sure to speak with a doctor to ensure these changes are normal and there are no health risks to worry about.
Whatever the reasons for the increased sweating and odor, it may be time to consider deodorant for your growing child. This will reduce these issues and help your child maintain their confidence since they don’t have to worry about damp patches on their clothing or smelly bodies.
Deodorant or Antiperspirant?
Though some people think that deodorant and antiperspirant are the same things, there are some very specific differences between these two products.
Deodorant is designed to help mask the odor your body produces. It does this using subtle fragrances to keep you smelling fresh throughout the day. Deodorant doesn’t stop you from sweating, it only prevents you from smelling bad.
Antiperspirant may also have a scent to it but its main purpose is to stop you from sweating. It does this by blocking the sweat glands, so they produce less moisture, keeping you dry.
Which to Choose
There is no right option when you have a child who needs to start using these products. Active children, especially those involved with sports, will likely sweat more, so they may need to use an antiperspirant. If your child seems to have more of an odor issue than a sweating one, a deodorant may be the better option.
There are some antiperspirant and deodorant combination products. These give you both the odor-masking ability and the sweat reduction, so your child gets the best of both worlds. There are also many deodorants designed for kids and teenagers, so they can choose one that is made just for them. Letting them help with this process will boost their confidence and give them a sense of independence, both of which they’ll need to start making decisions on their own.
What to Look for in a Deodorant for Kids
When deciding on a deodorant for kids, there are a few things you should look for to ensure you’re getting the right product for their delicate skin. There are also some ingredients you may want to avoid.
There are a wide variety of deodorant brands on the market but many of them use chemicals and synthetic ingredients that could irritate your child’s sensitive skin. That’s why many deodorants for kids, tweens, and teens are created using natural ingredients that are safer on their skin.
This includes the fragrances used to help mask those nasty odors coming from beneath your child’s arms. Many people are allergic to synthetic fragrances, so stick to natural ones for the sake of your child and everyone around them.
Another great thing about those natural ingredients is that they are more suitable for sensitive skin. Even if this isn’t an issue your child normally deals with, the skin beneath their arms is more delicate than other parts of their body, so needs something gentler applied to it. A deodorant for sensitive skin is a great choice for everyone.
What to Avoid
There are a few ingredients that you may want to avoid to ensure your kid’s deodorant won’t irritate their skin or cause any health issues. One of these is aluminum, which is used to block the sweat glands and eliminate moisture. There are some concerns that aluminum, as well as propylene glycol and parabens, could be linked to some medical conditions, so you may want to consider avoiding these.
Alcohol is used in deodorants, particularly spray-on products, to help them dry quickly. The downside is that alcohol also dries the skin at the same time. The more you use it, the worse the dry skin will get, so you may want to choose a deodorant that leaves this out of the formula.
Other Measures to Keep Kids Fresh and Clean
Deodorant can help your kids stay fresh and dry but it can’t do all the work. Your kids need to take some extra measures to ensure the deodorant isn’t doing double-duty.
One important part of the daily routine is bathing or showering. This washes away all the dirt, oil, and sweat that accumulates on their bodies. They may also want to take a quick shower after sweaty activities, like sporting events.
Wearing clean clothing is also a must. Though kids don’t see a problem with wearing their clothes, including socks and underwear, this can increase odors. Make sure they are wearing clean clothing every day. Loose-fitting breathable fabrics like cotton are best.
Some foods, like onions, garlic, and spicy meals, can also contribute to body odor, so try limiting these when preparing their meals throughout the day.
Kids reach puberty at different ages but some of them may start to smell a bit funky before this stage of life. Luckily, deodorant doesn’t have a specific start age. Your kids can begin to use it whenever they need it, so if you find your child has developed an odor that has nothing to do with proper hygiene, it may be time for a good deodorant.