Let's just face the facts and admit to ourselves that sometimes kids stink. I don't mean the metaphorical stink that kicks up when you tell them their room needs cleaning, I'm talking about the literal stench of the room itself. It might be the laundry, or perhaps a stray sandwich lost in some dark crevice under the bed?
It's also completely possible that the smell might be emanating from the kiddos themselves. It's truly a mystery of nature. How do these sweet little cherubs create odors that can feel like a kick in the teeth after just a tiny whiff? There are actually many reasons and we will go over all the culprits from head to toe.
I'll warn you in advance that some of this stuff is super gross.
Smelly Hair Definitely Happens
Some kids adore showers, others will make every attempt to avoid them. If you have a child that hides away then their hair will develop a very muggy smell. This is generally caused by a buildup of sweat and a quick wash will cure what ails you. There is also the possibility that microbial fungus such as pediatric scalp ringworm might be building up under those luscious locks.
If you suspect that fungus is the culprit of a kid's smelly hair, don't hesitate to get them looked at by a professional. Generally they'll be prescribed some kind of antimicrobial shampoo that will ensure the problem doesn't develop any further. You can then cuddle your little ones freely, without catching a face full of fungus.
Listen Well, Care For Your Ears
Your mom always told you to wash behind your ears, didn't she? Well, share that wisdom with your children lest they develop some stinky cheese behind their ears. Kids that wear glasses are especially vulnerable to developing a stink behing their ears. Long hair and excessive over the ear headphone usage also present a problem.
What if the smell isn't coming from behind the ear? If you're seeing smelly discharge from your child's ear, it's an almost sure sign of an ear infection. Seek help from a medical professional at once. Ear infections are nothing to mess around with as they can develops severe complications in a hurry.
Mouths Are Made For Brushing
Luckily, most kids are too short to give adults a blast of dragon breath. However they still might develop halitosis if you're not keeping the situation monitored. The most obvious culprit of a child with bad breath is a lack of brushing. Some revel in brushing while others will make it a battle, but brushing is definitely not optional.
Kids might also suffer from bad breath due to dry mouth. If your child isn't properly hydrated they might develop a stinky mouth. Proper hydration helps to maintain the natural balance of bacteria within your mouth, if there's not enough saliva things can turn sour quite literally.
All About Armpit Odor
Sorry to say, but this is one of those child odors that we will never win against. The best we can do here is teach proper hygiene and encourage deodorant. While toddlers and tiny kid's armpits will usually stink from sweating, they can develop a fishy-smelling yeast infection if their armpits aren't cleaned well.
As for the bigger kids, they will start stinking around 10 or 11 and just never stop. Boys will start a bit later than girls, but both will need to learn how to beat body odor. If your child is having adult body odor before hitting the double digits, this might indicate a hormonal disorder and very likely deserves some looking into.
Privates and Butts. Take Care Down There.
Probably the biggest danger zone on this list, private parts should be monitored. There's no need to be invasive but if you smell something, say something. As with most items on this list, the huge majority of private part smells can be tamed with a thorough washing. There are a couple of smells to watch out for though.
A constant poo smell can indicate a dietary problem. Our little boy smelled awful despite being clean and we slowly discovered he had IBS due to lactose intolerance. We started him on lactose free milk and he smells great again! The fishy smell of a yeast infection is never a good sign, so be sure to watch out for that one as well!
Win The Battle Against Stinky Feet
The last stop on our journey through the colorful smells of children brings us to the feet. In my experience this is one of the most common child odors. Dirty socks and shoes are a factor, but some kids have stinky feet despite constant washing and new footwear every single day. What can you do about it?
We actually composed an entire article detailing how to stop stinky feet, and you should give it a look. In my experience kids get stinky feet after venturing outside for extended periods, and a quick rinse will have them good as new. If a wash is ineffective, you might be looking at a fungal infection of some sort.
If the shoe and not the foot is the smelly culprit Silly Feet offers multiple solutions. You can easily deodorize those stinky shoes with our kid's shoe deodorizing powder or shoe deodorizing spray. The quickest and simplest way to get those shoes smelling decent. Your nose will thank you.
Summary of Child Stench
This is obviously one of the more disgusting topics, but I feel that's why it needs to be discussed openly. Kids smelling even after a shower can indicate a far more serious problem that needs to be addressed. Not many people will take the time to dig into the disgusting world of stench, and if you were able to do so that indicates an extreme level of love and care for your little one. Your children might not realize that they stink, so approach the subject with caution but definitely don't let the problem persist. As always, care and compassion will take you very far.