When do children begin to sweat and have body odor?

Q: When do children begin to sweat and have body odor?

A: It may surprise you to learn that an increase in sweating—and the inevitable potential for BO—starts before puberty, usually between 8 and 10. Once these changes begin to take place, you can help your child prevent BO by teaching and encouraging good hygiene habits, including:

• Taking a bath or showering every morning to limit the bacteria on the skin, which makes sweat smell
• Taking a second bath or shower after sports or vigorous exercise
• Paying special attention to areas like the armpits, genitals, and feet when they wash
• Wearing clean underwear and socks each day
• Using deodorant on a daily basis starting around age 10 or 11

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