Rub-a-dub-dub, Once a Week in the Tub??
Kids are stinky. Just as certain as the sky is blue, the grass is green, and oatmeal raisin cookies are better than chocolate chip cookies, kids do, have done, and will always do things that create foul odors. Sure, all humans young and old are capable of producing some pretty pungent smells, but adults won't typically be found sweating profusely from every pore while playing in the mud — unless your name is Mike Rowe, of course. Then you get paid for it.
But in all seriousness, what does your house smell like after your 6- and 8-year-old boys have come in for dinner after a day of running around, playing tackle football, and riding their bikes?
Can't describe the smell? I get it. I totally get it. The smell is indescribable. So in answer to the odor, you toss the boys into the bath, and then your house is filled with the aroma of clean hair, clean bodies, and your world-famous cooking (even though your kids may not believe it to be so at the time). All's right in the world, right?
Actually, the clean hair and the clean bodies may not be as good as you previously thought.
If you can remember, I did a piece about bathing babies too often and how it caused eczema and the like, but the American Academy of Dermatology is saying that these bathe-your-kid-less rules should stretch a little further.
Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' section on allergy and immunology, Michael Welch, MD, confirmed that “exposure to a little grime may protect kids. Because their immune systems are still maturing, they seem to benefit from being around viruses, bacteria, and dirt.”
I guess that makes sense, and in an article from Yahoo Parenting, the author, Ana Connery, makes some commentary on some of the research that has been found about what bathing kids too much can do. She said that the research has shown that children's skin is more “vulnerable to irritants and allergens,” and a lot of those irritants come from soaps being repeatedly put on dried-out skin.
So far, 2+2 is equaling 4, so to speak, but I just don't know if I'm buying what this next lady has to say about the topic.
In that same article, one mom from Denver, CO, is quoted to have said this: “I have two children, ages 5 and 7. They get a bath or shower every other day, and if they go a day extra because it got too late or we just didn’t feel like it, nobody panics. Young children don't get stinky the way teens or adults do. I believe there is such a thing as being too clean.”
Either her children do nothing but sleep or they are huge fans of board games because kids do stink. Even when kids are sleeping, if you walk into their room while they're asleep, there's a musty, sweaty smell that emanates from their little bodies.
What do you think? Do you think kids should be bathed once a day? Does it depend on their ages? Their activity level? Let me know if you let your stinky babies run free!