Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Worried mother | 2012/01/30


smelly armpits for 5 yar old

Hi doc
please help, this is shocking, my daughter 5 years has smelly armpits, she doesnt eat anything besides pap and milk, she bathes twice but sometimes when she passess by i just smell it and i am very concerned, do i take her to a doctor or are there deoderants for 5 year olds.

Expert's Reply



As I said in my reply to a similar question last week,this question comes up almost every week.Smelly armpits at such a young age is assign of early puberty.your daughter is far too young to be entering puberty already.She should be seen by a paediatrician.

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user comments


Posted by: worried mum | 2012/01/31

thank you very much all

Reply to worried mum
Posted by: Purple | 2012/01/31

Well if she eats fruit then she is not only eating pap - she is eating fruit and pap.

It is a very good idea to take her to a peadiatrician.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: worried mom | 2012/01/30

she hates variaty, i try to make it more appealing even play puzzels with foods and ask her if she will eat them, she will say no,she doesnt like sweets though, i never give her sweets, she likes fruits and i give her in abundance.
i think its best if i take her to a GP to diagnose her problem, thank you very much for all your advises.
much appreciated

Reply to worried mom
Posted by: Purple | 2012/01/30

Unfortunately forcing a child to eat doesn''t help.

Does she only ever eat pap or does she sometimes eat chips or chocolate or sweets or biscuits?

IF so, then she is quite capable of eating other foods, she just won''t.

AS she is 5, you can sit with her and explain to her that she is going to get very sick if she doesn''t start eating other foods.
Stop making her pap to eat.
Offer her small amounts of healthy food at meal times and a cup of water to drink. You don''t have to shout at her or plead with her or anything, just put it in front of her. If she won''t eat it, then she goes hungry. You can keep it in case she changes her mind though. AT the next meal, offer another plate of healthy food (not the same plate of old food, that is just cruel).
Eventually she will get hungry and start eating something, though it might be ont he second or third day. Don''t comment on it or she will get stubborn about it.

She probably needs a psychologist more than she needs a dietician.

The armpits are worrying, but I think the lack of a varied diet is a huge issue. I don''t have any medical knowledge so don''t know if they would be related or not, it could just be coincidence, but eating this badly can cause all sorts of problems.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Maria | 2012/01/30

The doc will know, but the armpit problem could be related to the inadequate nutrition she is getting. I would have her evaluated by a paediatrician, who can refer you to someone who can help with the eating problems. An occupational or speech therapist can help with getting her used to different textures, and a dietitian can advise you on a more balanced diet. My experience was unfortunately that the dietitian wasn''t willing to work with my fussy child''s dietary quirks at all, her attitude was that the child must just eat what she is given. That wasn''t very helpful!

Reply to Maria
Posted by: worried mum | 2012/01/30

i did try her but she wouldnt eat, if i force her she vomits, i try to give her pumpkins and mixed veggies or stir fry, she just wouldnt eat, i got her centrum vitamins she gets really hungry but is not keen on any fod types,
she bath twice a day and i focus on the armpits but its not getting better, sometimes you smell her when she passess by.

she is also lactose intolerant so her breakfast does not consist of cereal, even soy and rice milk is not helping, so i make her porridge which she can eat the whole day,

i just dont know what to do, but i am concerned more for her armpits

Reply to worried mum
Posted by: Purple | 2012/01/30

How often does she bath or shower? She should be bathing or showering at least once a day and giving those armpits a good wash. Given the heat at the moment, a second bath or shower is probably a good idea too.

I agree that she should be eatling a lot more variety. She should be having some fruit and some vegetables every day - at least three portions (apple, orange, peach, bananana, litchi, pear, mango are all available at this time of year. Vegetables like pumpkin, butternut, gemsquash, spinach, tomato, baby marrow, broccolli, cauliflower, peas, carrots, beans etc are available fresh or frozen), as well as starches like pap or potatoe or sweet potato or rice or pasta or bread at one or more meals. She should also have some dairy like cheese or yoghurt or milk every day, and some nuts or seeds like sunflower seeds or sesame seeds once or twice a week as well. She gets fats from butter or margarine and from avocado as well. She should also be eating protein like eggs, chicken, fish and red meat like beef at least once or twice a week. Beans and cheese will also give protein and should also be included in what she eats.

I am very rushed in the morning so my family usually eat toast or yoghurt or fruit or cereal for breakfast. I pack everyone a healthy snack for school lunch which has a peanut butter sandwhich (or sometimes its ham and cheese), two fruits (a peach and an apple or some grapes for example) sometimes some cucumber or cheese or nuts or biltong as a treat. Some days I pop a boiled egg in or do an egg roll instead of a sandwhich. The lunch box is for morning snack and is finished at home for lunch and if anyone is still hungry they eat a sandwich or have a piece of fruit. Everyone feels a bit peckish at late afternoon as we have done homework and had sport and other extra murals, so I usually do some pop corn or we eat some fruit or dried fruit or a pack of cheddars, or a cup of tea and a rusk if its cold. In the evening we have super - we only eat red meat once a week (as its so expensive) and we''ll have it in a beef stroganoff or we''ll braai or we''ll have a spahetti bolognaise. We usually have two vegetables or a sald with our food and there is a starch as well. On Friday nights I sometimes do eggy bread for the children and on Sunday nights we usually just eat a small supper as we eat a big lunch. Some sunday nights we just have a bowl or cereal for super or baked beans on toast.
What we eat is not perfect, but as you can see, we try to incorporate all the food groups over the week at least.

No child can live on pap and nothing else. Her growth will be stunted from lack of protein and she could get kwashiorkor or marasmus or rickets or scurvy.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Maria | 2012/01/30

At 5 years old she needs to eat a much greater variety of food, she isn''t getting the nutrients she needs to grow and develop from just pap and milk.

Reply to Maria

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