When Should Kids Start Using Deodorant?
My son hasn't gone through puberty yet, but sometimes he gets body odor. I wonder if it's time for him to start using deodorant, but I worry that it might be too early.
As kids enter puberty, a lot of them start to develop body odor. Different kids start puberty at different times, but boys generally begin between ages 9 and 14.
Deodorants get rid of the odor of sweat by covering it up, and antiperspirants actually stop or dry up perspiration. There's no specific age at which kids can start using it, but they should read and follow the directions. Some deodorants work better if they're used at night, while others recommend application in the morning.
And it wouldn't hurt to remind your son about some hygiene basics. Encourage him to get into the habit of showering every day. He also might want to shower after activities where he's worked up a sweat. Encourage him to wear clean clothes, socks, and underwear each day.
If your son is feeling self-conscious about sweating and body odor, talk with his doctor.
- Talking to Your Child About Puberty
- Growth and Your 6- to 12-Year-Old
- Understanding Puberty
- Precocious Puberty
- Your Child's Changing Voice
- Sexual Development
- How Can I Encourage Good Hygiene Habits?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995- KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com