General Question

crankywithakeyboard's avatar

How do I deal with a stinky 5 year-old boy?

Asked by crankywithakeyboard (649points) April 10th, 2010

This is a true stink! He bathes everyday and we scrub him clean all over his body. Still, he smells adult man-stinky. It’s after he runs around and plays outside of course. I don’t want him embarrassed and I frankly don’t want to be embarrassed myself by this odor. And I pity his teacher! We’ve tried putting a bit of cornstarch in his clothes to absorb the sweat. No big change. We bought him some natural kid deodorant and we’ll see how it works when it arrives. Any advice or ideas?

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39 Answers

Dog's avatar

Be sure you do not have plants like society garlic in your yard that your kid is rubbing against. (Very common landscape plant)

If not see a doctor for possible hormone imbalance.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

He may have a metabolic disorder, and should see a doctor to rule that possibility out.
Make sure he goes to the doctor stinky so they can assess the nature of the odor.

faye's avatar

I agree with seeing a doctor and possible disorder.

slick44's avatar

I agree with the others, see a doctor.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Is it possible he has a food allergy? They can cause bad odors. They are no fun especially when trying to figure out which food is the trigger.

Dairy is a place to start.

snowberry's avatar

Kids are maturing much earlier than they used to it seems. My granddaughter started stinking in her armpits at age 6 or so, and her folks had her using antiperspirant. But I’d use that as a last resort. Antiperspirant is strong, and I think all of them contain aluminum. The skin is porous, and you can absorb tiny amounts that way. I’ve heard that there’s a possibility of a link to Alzheimers.

escapedone7's avatar

I found an article here about causes you might want to read.

As far as daily dealing with it I would check if his sneakers need thrown out and replaced. If he is an excessive sweater I would get him new shoes more often. If any of his clothes smell after a first wash I’d give them a second. Teach him to stand at the sink with soap and “freshen up” mid-day with a washcloth and soap. Some type of disposable wipes perhaps could be kept in his pocket in a plastic ziplog baggie and then he could freshen up in a stall during restroom breaks at school. Changing into a fresh shirt mid-day might not be a bad idea.

CMaz's avatar

Let him sleep on the porch.

slick44's avatar

My son had a friend like that, he smelled so bad even after he left you could smell the stink. We called him stinky john.

Silhouette's avatar

@chazMaz lol.

slick44's avatar

@Silhouette .. isn’t chazmaz just the cutest thing?

Silhouette's avatar

What kind of soap do you use? Try antibacterial deodorant soap, like Dial.

slick44's avatar

And a wire brush.

Dog's avatar

[Mod Says:] Please respect the asking and keep on topic. We have a chat room for socializing.


gailcalled's avatar

I agree with checking with the pediatrician. In the meantime, baking soda is a benign and effective deodorant. A paste for the armpits and a sprinkle in socks and shoes.

What’s his toilet hygiene like? Is he careful with wiping and washing hands? Five-year-olds tend to be a little sloppy.

TLRobinson's avatar

We had this problem with my daughter when she was 5. Oh my goodness, she reeked! We took her to her pediatrician, who recommended a
specialist. My daughter has
highly aggressive hormones.
She uses a prescription
strength deodorant in the morning and
at night. She’s 10 now and no
longer “smelly”. Go to a doctor.


@ChazMaz Yes, shame!——At least provide the poor boy with a warm blanket before setting him outside on the porch. Lol.

I am with the rest——the poor lad needs to be checked by the doctor for possible hormonal/glandular abnormalities.

zophu's avatar

Could be something in his diet that his body doesn’t handle well that isn’t a big deal. But, looking at these other replies, it seems like it could be something serious. Take him to a doctor.

trailsillustrated's avatar

take. him . to . a . pediatrician!!!

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Have you tried Aroma Therapy?

Response moderated
slick44's avatar

@XOIIO thats not nice. hes 5 not his fault

XOIIO's avatar

Oh I thought he was a teen or something.

Wasn’t the question subject different a while ago?

cazzie's avatar

The herb, Sage, is a natural agent against body excretions. Remember that it’s not the sweat that smells, it’s the bacteria that eats the sweat and then releases it’s waste products. The flora and fauna on our bodies is really quite amazing. Perhaps by treating the excessive sweat with sage and then doing something to starve the colonies of bacteria, it might lessen the smell. I have recipes for natural deodorants with things like and tea tree oil (or manuka oil) and sage essential oil.

He can drink sage tea (one cup a day should be enough) as well as bathe in it. Put the herb (dried or fresh) in tea bags and let the water run over it as the bath fills.

Certainly take him to the doctor for a proper diagnosis. I don’t know how much medical science can do though. I’d try more natural remedies before putting prescription anti-perspiration stuff on him. We need to sweat and he’s just a child.

philosopher's avatar

Only a competent Physician can help you.

zophu's avatar

Yeah, ask the doctor about sage and such. One of the suggestions made by @cazzie , tea tree oil, I have heard can have serious hormonal affects on children, (aka, male breasts). It’s a shame herbal and nutritional medicine isn’t researched and regulated competently by our medical overlords, but we have to deal with it. Doctor’s word over the hippie’s. (not that we shouldn’t listen to our hippies)

cazzie's avatar

No… male breasts were connected with Lavender…. and I said.. Manuka was safer than Tea Tree…. ... I would never suggest anything that would do harm.

zophu's avatar

I looked it up on Wikipedia and the research with the male breasts thing is heavily disputed. Sorry, should have looked it up before posting.

cazzie's avatar

Did I NOT say to replace the tea tree with Manuka oil??
I’m SURE I did. And Tea tree is perfectly OK, in small amounts topically…. one should NEVER ingest it.

zophu's avatar

I’m not picking on you. Sorry. I just didn’t want the herbal treatment idea to trump a visit to the doctor.

cazzie's avatar

Did I say you shouldn’t bother with a doctor? NO. I said… go to the doctor for a diagnosis.

I’ve NEVER been called a hippy. You are extrapolating from a minute point.

zophu's avatar

oh. shit. sorry. I wasn’t thinking of you specifically when i said hippie. I was being careless with my words. sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you, or even to challenge your advice really. I was just trying to make the point that with any health problem, especially with kids, a doctor should be seen before trying home remedies. Just to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on, and to make sure that the remedies are safe to try for that specific child.

sorry for seeming disrespectful.

RedPowerLady's avatar

So did you figure it out?

zophu's avatar

Yeah, we’re all worried about the stinky boy. Any updates?

gailcalled's avatar

Since this child is only 5, how about a kinder, gentler sobriquet? I wouldn’t want my kid to hear me referring to him as “stinky.”

lynnshamrock's avatar

My son is going on 5 years old. He started having a really bad odor about a week or two ago. I found this site and then got it checked out with the doctor. The doctor told us that it looked like he stuck something up his nose. They told us to use a saline solution and make him blow as much as possible. We got the “Little Noses” from our local pharmacy and used it on him as soon as we got home. We made him blow it out and also use tweezers. This worked! Before this, he stunk really really bad and it didn’t smell like sweat. So glad we found what it was!! I would get your 5 year old checked out by the doctor and make sure it’s nothing that he stuck up his nose. This might be the problem.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@lynnshamrock That is just like an episode on House (Dr Greg House). A boy that age crammed toys up his nostril. House is a genius. I love that show. Glad your little guy was ok.

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