Could My Toddler Have a Yeast Infection?

Is your toddler itchy "down there?" Dr. Claire McCarthy advises on whether she might have a yeast infection.

Sulking Toddler Girl
Photo: Turner-Art/Getty Images

My 4-year-old daughter often complains of an itchy vagina, and she's frequently red down there. Could she have a yeast infection?

According to Claire McCarthy, M.D, she could have a yeast infection, but more likely it's irritation from not wiping very well, a common oversight among preschool girls. Wiping is obviously important after pooping to keep germs away from the vagina, but it's also important after peeing; when the area stays moist, it can become irritated.

Make sure your daughter wipes (flushable wipes can help) and then dries well after going to the bathroom. For extra protection, avoid bubble baths, wash with a mild soap, and only use 100 percent-cotton undies. If the area is red, some diaper ointment or even just petroleum jelly can protect the skin while it heals. If it doesn't get better, or if she also has a thick, bloody, or foul-smelling discharge, call your doctor.

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