Too Young for Body Odor?

Updated on May 24, 2010
S.S. asks from North Bend, OR
17 answers

I have a beautiful 6 year old daughter who is finishing up her 1st grade school year, and I've noticed more than once this year that she has had underarm odor... and to me this seems way to young! She is my first child, and I certainly don't remember when I started having such issues as a child, so I have no comparisons.

I plan to ask her doctor on her yearly checkup in August, and we've just made sure she washes well since noticing - I haven't mentioned it to her though, I certainly don't want her to get a complex!

So, is this normal?

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So What Happened?

We've discussed it some, and I got her some Teen Spirit - which she likes the smell a lot. We will discuss it with her Dr in August at her regular appointment, just to make sure.

Thanks, everyone, for the reassurance and help!

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answers from Atlanta on

HI S.,

It is fairly common these days but it should not be considered normal. It has to do with a lack of nutrition or a lack of absorption of nutrition. Food today has so many chemicals (pesticides, preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, etc) in it that it breaks down the nutrients so we can't absorb them.

Both of my girls are on an absorbable multivitamin/mineral complex that has a guarantee for absorption. My 14 year old had an odor at seven but doesn't have one now. It's the nutrition and the body working the way it should. If you're interested in what I did, let me know. I'd love to help.


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answers from Sacramento on

My 6 year old has stinky pits when the weather gets warmer. Because of her sensitive skin I was using baby Aveeno to wash her body and I had to switch to something a little stronger and that seemed to do the trick.

I did read some of the responses and wanted to add that we eat almost exclusively organic and vegetarian, ( organic milk also)... I can see in come cases where diet would make a difference, but that's not it for us.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi daughter's doctor told me under arm odor can start anywhere from 6-9. Usually the first sign of puberty. My kids both started be a little smelly when they were 7ish. Usually only when they would get sweaty. However, I had a girlfriend who's daughter, like yours used deodorant at’s no big deal. Give her some deodorant, otherwise if kids at school smell her, they will give her the complex for you. Trader Joes and Whole foods has some natural ones that work for my kids.
Hope this helps... :) D.

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answers from Sacramento on

20 -30 years ago this would not be normal...but dr's are seeing young girls develop faster. My neice discovered pubic hair at age was way embarrassing for her and was very confused.....but with the help of her mom and pediatrician.she got hte right info and understanding...

If anything, I might just call your pediatrician and let them know so they can notate it on her records and they may give you some resources to look into to educate yourself...and then at her checkup you can discuss how the body odor has progressed.

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answers from Honolulu on

Yes, kids this age get body odor.
My daughter is 7, she has odor.
I got for her and she uses with no problem the "Arm & Hammer- Essentials Natural Deodorant" which has NO aluminum and NO paraben in it. You can get it anywhere, even probably the grocery store.

My daughter has no complex about it. She says some of her other classmates 'smell' too. Your child will not get a "complex" about it if you don't get a "complex" about it.

A good book series is the "American Girl" books. There is one called "The care and keeping of you." Which is real good, fun, and made age appropriate and made to be read with Mom. I got this book already... for my girl and me. She read some of it already. But I will save the rest for when she is a little older.

all the best,

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answers from Sacramento on

I think things have changed as far as when kids mature and go through puberty. I distinctly remember the kids needing bras and deodorant around 6th or 7th grad (11-13 yrs old). My stepdaughter was 8 when she started having body odor so her mom & dad started her on deodorant and it seemed to help greatly. I would call your doctor to see if it is okay to start her on deodorant this young. Hope that helps.


answers from Fresno on

My older daughter is 7, and we have had this problem for about 6 months. I was talking to one of the moms at ballet class the other night and she said her older 2 daughters (ages 8 and 10) also started having body odor around this age as well. We got to talking about it and we had both noticed that the odor is worse at some times than others. We have a mostly organic diet and so does this other family, so that isn't it. You know what we finally realized? Our girls have worse body odor when they are under times of stress. For my daughter, it has been during the time when she had a lot of homework due, plus had to go to all kinds of ballet rehearsals getting ready for a big performance. For this other mom, she noticed the problem got worse when she brought her youngest baby home from the hospital (i.e. her girls were adjusting to a new sibling). Seems logical to me. Kids now days are under a lot more stress at younger ages than we were as kids.

In any case, I bought Degree's teen deodorant. Girly scents, and works like a charm. She doesn't have a complex; I just told her that her under-arms were a little stinky due to all the exercise she was getting, and so she needed to use deodorant. No big deal.



answers from Pittsburgh on

It happens but I don't think it's normal.

When my son starting getting pit BO, I was told to try organic milk. Guess what? NO MORE BO! It's the hormones in the milk. Give it a try, I'll bet it works for you.

If you get a deodorant, get a natural one, like Tom's of Maine.



answers from Seattle on

From the kids I know it's not the norm. And when my 6 year old niece had it she was diagnosed with early onset, or precocious, puberty. She has a pituitary gland malfunction that requires medication or can disrupt normal growth and fertility. So it's worth getting it checked out with a simple blood test or two just to make sure!



answers from Sacramento on

I coached gymnastics for about ten years. Every year we would have to have the talk about good hygine with our little competitive team ( 6-7 year olds) some parents went and bought powders for their children and some went and bought teen deodorant for them. For the most part that really worked for them. So if she runs around alot I don't think she is to young to be taught about good hygine. I mean adults still need to be taught about that some times!!!



answers from San Francisco on

My daughter was 7 when we started noticing it. I also thought she was too young, but I also did not want anyone else to mention it to her. So, we made it a rite of passage. I told her that our bodies change as we get older and she would get to wear deoderant like mommy. Then, I took her shopping for the scent she wanted. She did not feel weird about it and we got some relief from the smell.

When she hit 4th grade and the teacher mentioned under her breath that some of these kids should really be wearing deoderant, my daughter was proud that she was not the one offending her teacher.

It is normal, especially if your daughter is fairly active.



answers from San Francisco on

I would say this is NOT abnormal, but get it checked out by her dr.

My son started getting BO at age 6 also. I asked his dr. about it at his regular check-up. The dr. said my son has a lot of androgens. I know he's a boy, so these hormones wouldn't pertain to a girl. My advice would be to pay attention to see if there's other signs of puberty. Acne, pubic hair, etc.

There is a condition called precocious puberty that my dr. told me about. Each time my son gets a check-up, the dr. checks for other signs to make sure this is just a normal progression in my son.

Anyway, my son uses Crystal body deodorant now (He is now 9). It's all natural - no aluminum chemicals. It works pretty good for him. We use the roll-on and it also comes in a spray. You can get in at Target, Whole Foods, online.

Hope this helps!



answers from New York on

Normal. My son was a little stinky at 5. Went to the doctors to ensure early puberty wasn't happening, it wasn't and he has been using deodorant since. Lots of kids in his class do. Some people believe it's reflective of the kids diets as well. No worries, just get her a natural deodorant and all will be fresh as usual.



answers from San Francisco on

I would not make a special appt to consult the doc on this. Wait until your August appt. My daughter started having body odor when she was 6. She has just started using deodorant these past couple of months. She uses Tom's of Maine since it may be more gentle. She doesn't mind and her code word is that she is putting on "ketchup" because if she doesn't she smells like a hamburger. Her sister, who is 11 and has started her period, doesn't not need to use deodorant. Every child is different.



answers from San Francisco on

My daughter began to have body odor around this age. I was shocked and reacted as you are-concerned about embarrassing her, etc...after a few months of noticing it when she came home from school I just sort of quietly suggested she use the non-toxic baking soda based deodorant i use, and it was then pretty resolved. i was very worried that she was going to go through puberty way too early, and while she did begin to develop on the early side, it went slowly, and she did not get her period till 12, within the average range.. i have never quite figured this out, have talked to a few other mothers who had the same seems clear that adolescence is kicking in really early for these children,and that body odor is the first sign, but I do want to reassure you that it is not so very unusual. my daughter is now grown up and very healthy..


answers from Dallas on

Even babies can have body order. I suggest getting a natural antiperspirant that is gentle. Here is one:

She is younger than the average, but this is really no big deal. By age 9 all her friends will be pretty stinky!



answers from San Francisco on

A friend of mine also had this issue with his 6 year old daughter and switched to organic milk, which took care of the problem! Try it.

Next question: My 5 Y O Has B. O.!!