Health e-Hints™

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

When should kids start using deodorant?

Q: I notice that my 10-year-old son is really starting to develop some body odor, and I wonder if it's time for him to start using deodorant. But I worry that it might be too early.


A: 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 the ages of 9 and 14.

Deodorants get rid of sweat odor 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 the directions. Some brands work better if they're used at night, and others recommend application in the morning.

It wouldn't hurt to remind your son about some hygiene basics. Encourage him to get into the habit of showering every day. Additionally, he also may want to shower after activities in which 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.