Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."


Question: Is it safe for children to use deodorant? My 9 year old nephew was told by his teacher to start using deodorant. My nephew says all the rest of the class uses deodorant. His grandmother, my mother, says it is unsafe for children to use deodorant. Is it safe for him to use deodorant, or not? David

Answer: Your nephew is showing signs of puberty as evidenced by having an "adult" body odor. This is caused by hormones that are becoming more active during this stage. Using deodorant (especially one that is mild/and or hypoallergenic) is fine. In fact, it is necessary.

If he has any allergic reactions such as a skin rash, experiment with others. As for being unsafe, your mother may have her reasons for feeling this way. It may stem from her own experiences and upbringing.

You may want to talk with him about all the physical and emotional signs of puberty and growing up. This way he will have less surprises.

Dr. Betti

Also see:

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  • Is it safe for an 11-year-old to use tampons?
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    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.