Smelly Cheerleader

Updated on August 03, 2011
C.M. asks from Bartlett, IL
14 answers

Okay moms, I need your help!

I'm a cheerleading coach and there's a girl on my team (who is 9 years old) who I don't think is cleaning her privates very good. When she's going up in stunts you can smell her and it's kind of gross. With cheerleading, the girls are constantly climbing on one another and throwing and catching. Not only have I noticed it, but other kids have wrinkled their noses when having to stunt with this girl.

I gave a general hygiene talk to all the girls and told them that it's summer and hot out so they need to do a good job of cleaning their bodies because we are all working so close together. The girl did proudly announce to everyone that she showers every day.

I'm not sure if I should have another more specific talk to everyone or talk to her mother about it? I feel like pulling her aside and mentioning something privately would only humiliate her.

What should I say to her mother? Or what should I say to the girls? They are getting to the age where some of them also need deodorant. Should I bring that up too the girls, or do you think that's a parents' job? I don't even know if the parents WANT their kids wearing deodorant, but with a group of kids aged 9-12, some of them are needing it.

Your input is appreciated!

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answers from St. Louis on

I would speak to the mom, not her. Really one of the other girls is going to say something and she will become the cleanest girl on the team.

It is one of the things I disagree with in parenting today. People will stop children from saying things like this because they are mean. What is really more mean, talking about the child behind her back or telling her so she can do something about it?

*steps down off soap box*


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answers from Denver on

this is kinda embarassing but when i was that age i had a similiar problem - and i did shower everyday - but no one explained to that you actually had to 'get into there" and get it cleaned up - i just soaped the pubic area - so the odor kinda still hung around. I wish someone would have told me and I never thought to ask my mom - embarrassing.

Not sure how to address but wanted to let you know i would have appreciated someone discussing it in a little more detail.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Because it is such a sensitive subject, I'd talk to the MOM (and good for you for wanting to help this child out!)... at 9, she probably has some kind of infection, and needs to go to the doctor, and mom might already be aware of something.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

IMHO, weird or strong smells in a child that age are more than just B.O. It could be a yeast, or bacterial infection, that is festering.

I would talk to the mom one-on-one (not in front of the child), and explain your concern and that you're sorry to have to bring this to her attention but you do not want the child shunned by the other girls.

That's a toughie because it sounds like more than B.O. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

As my daughter started 5th grade last year deodorant want on her school supply list for PE. It was a must have for every one in her class boy or girl. Maybe you can talk with the parents about having a growing up girl party. What to expect, discuss the change, how important it is to clean all parts of your body, discuss the different deodorants etc...

That is if you feel comfy about this. You could make it a slumber party and include fun things too like make-up, hair and nails.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would send out a general hygiene note to all parents reminding them about changes at this age and suggest deodorant, gentle facial cleansers, etc. I would also speak with the particular girl's mother since she could have a bacterial infection. When I was a girl, I had a friend who started her period at 9 years old. This could be the case with your student, and she may need some direction.
Finally, when I was about 12, I could easily have had this issue. My parents were divorced and my mother worked full time and was going to school full time. I remember the summer when a boy I liked asked me, "is that a suntan or dirt on your feet?" (Ugh). I was also plastered in make-up. I can see me now - running barefooted, climbing trees and playing softball, wearing enough makeup to be in "Phantom of the Opera"! My dad was too embarrassed to talk with me about such things, and my mother had her hands full. The mother of a friend of mine made "suggestions" for me and I'll always be thankful to her!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Speak to the Mom.

Luckily the girl is not being teased. Yet.
At this age,a girls body begins to change.
And they have odors.

My daughter is 8 and wears deodorant.
Her Teacher, in 3rd grade, gave the class a talk about their hygiene too.
From this age onward, it happens.

Again, speak to her Mom.
Be honest.
But, diplomatic.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

One-on-one private conversation w/ the mom. Poor girl, how mortifying.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Maybe chat with her mom? If she showers every day and still smells it could be an infection that needs medical attention.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If it were me, I would either talk to the mother or pull the girl aside and tell her privately.

I have had talks like this with kids who weren't mine, but usually teenagers, not 9 year olds. And kids know I'm blunt, so they're used to things like that coming out of my mouth.

You know the girl, you know the mother, so you will have to decide who to talk to. But generally speaking, yes, group talks about hygiene are okay.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Awww poor girl! You are so sensitive to her needs--- I think that is wonderful you are taking such care in her feelings. I would definitely descreetly talk with her mama. She should take her to the doctor if the smell persists and she is really cleansing herself well. I would talk with mom and see what she says. As for the deodorant, yes---you should have a talk with the girls and also send out a letter to all parents saying that its summer now and the girls are starting puberty--they need deodorant. GL


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I wonder if she has a yeast infection vs an actual cleaning issue ... I would bring it up to her mother, if she does nothing about it then I would talk to her. I have had scent issues in that department my WHOLE LIFE and I find baking soda baths help as well as feminine spray.



answers from San Diego on

I love that you are so sensitive to think how and to whom to put this.

I have to say, when I read the title of the post, I immediately thought, 'great name for a band.' I just went back to high school.


answers from Houston on

She may be OVER cleaning. yes talk to her mom, not to her.

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