I have a confession.  One of my little boys has a body odor.  His little 7-year-old underarms smell like a mixture of onions and basketball player sweat.  My boys run and play a lot, pretty much everyday, but I never expected that I’d be dealing with body funk from my little boy this early.  After doing a little research via Google (yes, Google), here are some common reasons kids get body odor before puberty.


If your kid is over doing it on processed foods and red meat, that could be leading to kid body odor.  Bottom-line, our bodies need enough water, vegetables and fruit to detox all that candy, cupcakes and Snickers bars kids are going to eat.  It doesn’t matter how much I try, my kids are going to find a way to get snacks.  Their grandfather, dad and big brother are usually the culprits.  But, that’s why us moms have got to be equally diligent and make sure our kids only get juice and soda on “special occasions,” have fruit and veggies with every meal and have diets doused in water. Before putting deodorant (or antiperspirant) on your kid’s armpits, try a diet change for a week and see what happens.


Although my 7-year-old no longer wants my help, he just can’t shower on his own yet.  His idea of a good shower is only washing the front of his body, not washing his face at all and spending most of his time in the bath building Bionicles rather than washing his underarms.  If you’re allowing your kid to wash herself before she’s ready, that could be leading to body odor.  I make a deal with my middle son, he gets to wash himself up in the morning (while I’m watching) and either myself or his dad has to wash him at night.


Peppermint Epsom Salt Bath

Before resorting to store-brought items, try bathing your child in peppermint (or even lavender) Epsom salt. It works to draw out the strong odor. If your child’s odor is environmental and not hormonal, this should do the trick.

Wipe Down & Spritz

Try wiping your kiddos underarms daily with vinegar. You can also apply a spritz made by diluting tea tree oil with witch hazel to conquer smell that results from perspiring. If the smell of your child’s underarms is faint, a daily wipe of vinegar combined with the tea tree spritz should do the trick.

Try Tom’s of Maine

If all else fails, Tom’s of Maine has been known for years as the go-to all natural deodorant product. It is aluminum free and won’t clog your child’s pores.


What tricks have you tried the first time your kid had a body odor issue?

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Muffy MendozaAuthor posts

Muffy Mendoza is an author, speaker and founder of Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a support group for nearly 4,000 African-American moms in the Pittsburgh region. To further fill the void Muffy has created a line of educational products focused on helping Black moms be the best moms, too. Her first book, The Brown Mama Mindset: A Blueprint for Black Moms on Life, Love & Home, was featured at the 2018 Essence Festival and is currently sold in various cities across the U.S. Muffy champions the beauty of Black motherhood everywhere she goes, even on the TEDx stage. Find out more about Muffy on muffymendoza.com.


  • Thank you for this! My son is about to turn 7 in a month and I couldn’t help but smell everything in his bed because I couldn’t pin the problem until I smelled his armpits. We bathe him Every other day but now we’re going to start bathing him every day!
    Thank you so much for touching on this subject!

  • I’m so glad you touched on this subject! It’s truly a “what in the world am I smelling?” Struggle with children.

  • I know. My little man sweats a lot. So, I knew he would need deodorant as soon as he began puberty. I was just surprised it came so soon. We use Tom’s of Maine every other day. But, I put him in a baking soda bath and wipe his underarms with vinegar.

  • We do Natural or a little teens deodorant. I went to visit my daughters class one day and they were doing activities in the gym, oh lawd! I started seeing Italian hoagie s that weren’t there lol!! Phew!

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