There comes a time in every child’s life when they have to take over the responsibility of their own personal hygiene. When the time comes it is your responsibility as a parent to educate your child about personal hygiene.
When kids hit puberty or just before puberty, their body start transforming and they become more self-conscious about problems such as body odor and body hair. Some children start experiencing body odor even before puberty. With puberty comes the growth of hair in the pubic area, in the armpit and facial hair for boys.
So the question is when should you start teaching your kids to use anti-body-odor products and shaving equipment?
Taking care of body hair
Kids start developing body hair when they hit puberty. Hair grows in the pubic area, in the armpit, on their hands and legs and on the face for boys. The question is when should kids start shaving this hair?
Parents should not have to force their kids to start shaving. You should let the kid decide if they want to shave or not. Kids should start shaving when they become self-conscious of their body hair. Girls will generally want to start shaving their pubic area and armpit more than boys.
Boys generally don’t like to start shaving when they reach puberty. They rather like to show off the few hair they have to their friends because they think that makes them manlier.
What you can do as a parent is give them a few shaving tips such as the ones below:
- Don’t get them razor blades. For kids when inexperience in shaving, they are likely to cut themselves when shaving with razor blades. You can get them electric razors instead. We have provided a list of the best ten electric shavers. Electric shavers are much safer for kids than razor blades.
- Are they ready to shave? Let your kids know the many responsibilities of shaving. Shaving is an ongoing process and the kid must to ready to maintain this new habit.
- The use of the right shaving techniques: You should let your kids know what the right procedures are for a proper shave. Techniques such as wetting the skin and hair, using shaving cream and stroke techniques should be thought. It is easy for a kid to cut themselves when shaving. If they cut themselves in embarrassing areas while shaving, they might not report this and it may lead to infection if not treated.
What about body odor?
Body odor is one of the most embarrassing hygiene problems for your adolescent. They can be bullied for it and they can also develop social problems because of it.
The question is should you buy deodorant for your kids as soon as they develop body odor? The answer to this is no.
You as a parent must first take your child’s overall personal hygiene into consideration. Buying deodorant will just be covering up the real problem. You need to get your child to step up their body cleanliness first.
- Clean body: you should ensure that your child bathes thoroughly every morning and evening. When bathing, make sure they use soap and properly clean the armpit, feet and genital areas. If the odor persists after bathing, it might be a fungal infection. You can buy anti-fungal soap for them to bathe with.
- Shower: your child should shower every time to return from playing sports or practice and whenever they engage in sweaty activities such as walking in the sun. They should always shower with soap.
- Clean clothes: Wearing dirty clothes is a prime cause of smelly body. Make sure your kid puts on a clean cloth every time they bathe. Clean underwear must also be worn at all time. Ideally, your kid should not wear the same underway throughout the day. They should change it at least once a day. This also goes for socks. During the hot summer days, they should ideally wear loose cotton clothing as this helps in keeping sweat under control.
If your kid still has body odor after you’ve taken the steps above, then you can buy deodorant for them. When buying deodorants, buy those with no aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium listed in the ingredients. At this time we do not know the long term effects of these chemicals.
It is better to look for products marketed towards teens. It is even better if you can get hold of all-natural products.
You should also take into consideration whether your kid will share the product with siblings and friends. In this case you should buy them aerosol based deodorant. If your kid sweats a lot, you should get them an anti-perspirant deodorant.
You should also consider taking your kid in to see a skin specialist as there may be an underlying cause that may be treatable.
Your kid’s personal hygiene is very important to get right. You should therefore not wait until they have develop embarrassing problems before your teach them the right hygiene techniques.