Do 7-Year-Olds Need to Wear Deodorant? A Parent’s Guide


As your kids grow, their body will start to undergo changes that might cause them to suddenly start smelling a lot worse then than used to, especially if they sweat a lot while playing.

For your 7-year-old, you might be wondering if they need to start wearing deodorant, even if you haven’t been smelling any extra stink from them. Well, I’ve done a bit of research and can give you answer.

So, do 7-year-olds need to wear deodorant? Every child grows at a different pace, so some children may start giving off body odor sooner than others. Deodorant doesn’t harm children, so if parents feel their 7-year-old might need it they can encourage him or her to start using it. 

So, you may be wondering why your child suddenly became so stinky or how you should talk to them about it and the need for deodorant. Being a parent myself, I know that this will definitely come up in my future, so I wanted to know how to address these topics with my son as he grows.

I’ve put together some research I found on this topic, and hopefully, this will help guide you through your 7-year-old’s development and deodorant needs.

Why is My 7-Year-Old So Stinky?

You may be wondering why your sweet little boy or girl suddenly became so stinky. Well, the truth is, they are growing, and as they grow, some children have more bacteria than other. Bacteria are what causes your sweat to stink.

Now, most kids don’t start getting really stinky till they hit puberty. During puberty, the hormones become more active and in turn that affects how much sweat is produced and how it reacts to the bacteria found on the skin.

Fun Fact: Sweat is odorless. Body odor is created when sweat comes in contact with the bacteria on the surface of the skin. 

In the case of your 7-year-old, he or she might just have more bacteria on their skin than other children, and this is nothing to worry about. In some rare cases, it can be a sign of a hormonal issue. If you are concerned, you should talk to your pediatrician. 

Buying Deodorant for Your 7-Year-Old

When you feel like your child’s body odor is becoming a problem, you might want to sit down with them and have a talk about it. Help them understand that it is normal for children their age to go through changes and need to wear deodorant. 

The key here is to make sure they feel comfortable with this idea and are willing to wear deodorant. The last thing you want to do is fight with your 7-year-old about wearing deodorant.

You will both be left unhappy. If your 7-year-old understands the need and knows that it is something you require them to do, they will be more willing to go along with wearing it. 

Make wearing deodorant exciting for your 7-year-old. Show them how to put it on, let them pick out a smell they like, and then let them try putting it on themselves.

Making deodorant exciting will help your 7-year-old not feel embarrassed or upset by this change.

Unless your 7-year-old has really sensitive skin, there is no reason why you can’t buy any brand of deodorant sold at your local store. You can choose between a standard deodorant and an antiperspirant.

Deodorant typically gets rid of the odor of sweat while antiperspirants stop the sweat and the smell. 

Let your 7-year-old choose which deodorant they like. Let them smell each one and find one that they think is good for them.

Making them a part of choosing will help them want to participate and feel responsible for putting it on later.

Whichever one you choose, make sure your child knows that they need to put it on every day, and in some cases, your child might need to wear it at night.

Teaching Your 7-Year-Old to Use Deodorant

Wearing deodorant will be new for your child, and you know them best, so find ways that you can make it fun for them. The best way to teach your 7-year-old is by showing them how to do it and letting them try themselves. 

Make wearing deodorant exciting for your 7-year-old. Making deodorant exciting will help your 7-year-old not feel embarrassed or upset by this change.

Letting your child try to put the deodorant on might be frustrating for them at first, but lots of praise and encouragement will help them to overcome those challenges. 

7-year-olds love routine, and if you can make putting on deodorant part of their daily routine, it will be less challenging for them to adapt to doing this each morning.

If your child showers in the morning, you can help them learn to put on deodorant right after they shower each day. If they need to wear deodorant at night, encourage them to put it on right after they brush their teeth.

Gently let your child know when they haven’t put it on and you are beginning to smell their body odor. Kids often don’t recognize these things on their own and will need help understanding the problem as well as the solution.

Other Ways to Prevent Stinky Underarms

There are other things that you can do to help your child if you are really battling a bad case of body odor. I modified this list using an article I found here. I took out items that don’t apply to 7-year-olds, but for the complete list, go here.

  1. Apply an antiperspirant at bedtime. This gives the product a chance to work while you sleep and are not sweating. If you apply antiperspirants after showering in the morning, the sweat you accumulate will wash away the product and render you defenseless against daytime sweating. Remember, deodorants do not prevent sweating. They mainly mask the smell of the sweat on your skin. Antiperspirants are chemical agents that reduce sweating. Many antiperspirant preparations also contain a deodorant, which helps to mask the smell. Check the product you use to make sure it contains an antiperspirant.
  2. Keep your underarms dry. Bacteria have a hard time breeding in dry areas of the body.
  3. Try a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water to fight body odor. Use 1 teaspoon of peroxide (3%) to 1 cup (8 ounces) of water. Wipe this on affected areas (underarm, feet, groin) with a washcloth. This may help destroy some of the bacteria that create odor.
  4. Change your diet. Sometimes, fatty foods, oils, or strong-smelling foods such as garlic, curry, and onions, can seep through your pores and cause body odor (always see a doctor or dietician before making drastic dietary changes).

Now, some of these things you won’t be able to control all the time in your 7-year-old. They will want to run and play and will end up all sweaty, and that’s not a bad thing, but encouraging them to keep a standard of cleanliness will be good for when they do hit puberty. 

Always make sure, though, that your son or daughter feels comfortable with their own body as they grow and change.

Reading the rest of the article I linked above will help you understand more about body odor and how you can overcome the majority of the concerns with your child’s development.

Related Questions

Should I let my 7-year-old put on makeup? This is a very personal choice and should be determined between the parent-child duo. However, there are many helpful articles addressing these concerns that parents might have.

Here is a highly popular article from a medical expert addressing this issue.

When should my 7-year-old daughter shave her legs? At the age of 7, little girls don’t need to shave their legs. Shaving should be a personal choice made between a parent and a child when the daughter hits puberty. 

Can a 7-year-old go through puberty? It is not as common for girls to start puberty before the age of 10. Most girls will hit puberty anywhere between 11 to 13 years old, and boys will hit puberty around 12 to 14 years.

However, each child’s development is different. Some may experience puberty earlier than others, but typically there won’t be many signs of puberty at age 7.

Olivia Fisher

Olivia Fisher is a senior studying English with an emphasis in professional writing at Brigham Young University-Idaho. She, her husband, and their son live in Rexburg, Idaho, where they enjoy the small-town life and work hard to finish university.

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