Hygiene for Preschoolers

Updated on April 01, 2010
A.M. asks from Sunnyvale, CA
12 answers

I have a athletic 5 year old boy and now he is starting to get musty after playing hard. Is it ok to start him on a mild deodorant

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Sacramento on

Deodorant will not help because the glands under his arms will not be secreting the stuff that deodorant is designed to cover until he goes through puberty. He's a boy, he'll be fine.

More Answers



answers from Indianapolis on

There's no reason a child that age should need a deodorant. It isn't until puberty that the perspiration mixes with the bacteria on the body to create the odors.

Personally, I'd not use a deodorant for several more years until it's really needed.

There's debate over the safety of some of the ingredients in deodorant (hasn't stopped me from using them).

Instead, I'd try a scented lotion or some baby powder on him in the morning to help control the wetness when he perspires.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,

Just warm water bath would do the trick. Deodorant for kids is not a good idea.



answers from Bakersfield on

Hi Mama-
There are 2 schools of thought on this, at least from my perspective.
The first is to make sure he uses strictly deodorant and not an antiperspirant. The aluminum causes damage to the glands in the armpits and they can clog, very painfully. You can use any random men's deodorant, OR, you can go to trader joe's or somewhere and get an all natural one to curb the must.
My second thought is wipes. Baby wipes are not just for bottoms any more. Have your son take some with him in a sealed baggy and then at the end of lunch time recess, get him in the habit of wiping down his pits and parts in the bathroom. A separate wipe for each. You can even get flushable ones if that helps. And as long as he sees it as basic hygiene and not something to be embarassed about, there shouldn't be a problem.
I hope this helps
-E. M



answers from Redding on

To Dana, if they aren't supposed to stink until they reach puberty, why do some stink as early as 5?
My son started to have a musty odor also at that age and his feet were just putrid. He just turned 10 a few days ago and its only getting worse.
That said, I don't like all of the soap and shampoo on him all of the time. When he was younger, I would have him just rinse with water in the shower and only use soap every 2 - 3 days. That worked when he was 5. There's no way that would work now. He uses AXE deodorant. Boys love it. Not sure if it has aluminum but i will check.



answers from Augusta on

I'd say no, Just throw him in the tub after he gets done playing outside.



answers from Sioux Falls on

No, once they are getting smelly, go ahead and start. Save the boy some embarrasment! My boys had to start young too...



answers from Sacramento on

If your boy is smelly, have you looked at what he is eating? Body odor is often a reflection of the diet we ingest...lots of green veggies help the body to have a nice, clean smell...some adults even take chlorophyll or spirulina to help reduce body odor.
Does he eat veggies & fruits? Whole grains instead of refined grains? Unprocessed meats or non-meat protein, instead of processed, highly seasoned meats? Does he drink plenty of water?
Lots of sugar, white flour, processed meats & other processed foods, as well as poor elimination habits (such as constipation, smelly urine) can cause the body to have many more odors than it might have otherwise...
I agree that a natural, safe baby powder in his shoes, and dusted lightly on his body, as well as a nice sudsy bath or shower off after play is probably the better alternative to underarm deoderant. But truly, diet is more likely to blame...?
Sometimes people's body chemistry reacts poorly to synthetic fibers, and body odor is more pronounced than when wearing natural fibers, since the natural fibers breathe better. Maybe this would help as well.
Hope this helps!



answers from Redding on

Dear A.,
It's my experience (and I have lots of it with little boys) that they are just stinky little creatures. My daughter is older than my son and even she said, "Peeeeeeeewwwwwww! Little boys stink!"

5 seems awfully early to use deodorant, in my opinion. Little boys heads and faces really sweat a lot and something you put under your son's arms won't have any affect on that.

Just make sure he takes a bath or showers every night before bed and absolutely check to make sure he washes his hair throroughly. That way he'll be nice and clean before he puts on his jammies as is good to go for the next day.

At this age, good old fashioned soap and water should do the trick.

Best wishes!


answers from Charlotte on

Yes, Tussy is a good brand to start with



answers from Oklahoma City on

Yes, but get one that does not contain aluminum! Watch the wording close: some have aluminum but don't use the actual 'word' aluminum in the active ingredients; such as GLY, GLY anhydrous, zirconium trichlorohydrex, zirconium pentachlorohydrex. Arm and Hammer, Tom's and Suave MEN are some I know are aluminum free.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions