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You take off your child’s shoe and — pee-yew! Your toddler has stinky feet! “It's not unusual for children to have strong foot odor. Kids are active and often sweat all over their bodies,” says Dr. David Geller, a pediatrician and columnist for BabyCenter.
Why does my child have stinky feet?
With your child's feet inside shoes or wrapped in socks all day, they tend to sweat and smell more. Bacteria causes the stink — it loves damp and dark places like the inside of a shoe. But, don’t worry, you can do something about toddler stinky feet.
Remedies for your toddler's stinky feet
Feet inside shoes and wrapped up in socks all day tend to sweat and smell more. Bacteria causes the stink — it loves damp and dark places like the inside of a shoe. But, don’t worry, you can do something about toddler stinky feet.
1. Soap and scrub your child’s feet.
The less bacteria present on your child’s feet, the more you can control the smelly odor. Wash her feet daily to get rid of as much bacteria as you can. It’s not enough that her feet get splashed by the shower water, too, says KidsHealth. It’s best if you scrub in between the toes and lather with soap. Dry her feet afterward. Don’t let a damp foot get into a shoe!
2. Choose the right socks.
Socks made of natural material, like cotton, are much better at absorbing sweat than those made of synthetic fabric, like nylon. Less moisture makes it more difficult for bacteria to thrive. Put on a fresh pair of socks every day and try to change your child’s socks once they become damp from sweat.
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3. Ditch the lotion.
Lotion can clog pores, making it harder for your child’s feet to breathe. “Instead, stick with your powder (talc-free) to help keep her feet dry,” says pediatrician Dr. Claire McCarthyin Parenting.
When it comes to little kids' shoes, you’re looking for breathable, lightweight material. Shoes made from canvas, cloth, and soft leather are best. These allow air to circulate in and out. Plastic shoes, like jelly ballet flats, trap in moisture.
5. Switch shoes daily.
Wearing the same shoes every day can make your child’s feet smellier and the shoe stinky. If you can, have a few pairs of shoes your child can use as alternatives to prevent bacterial breeding.
6. Give stinky shoes a wash.
Dirty shoes harboring odor, fungus or bacteria can contribute to stinky feet. Dr. Geller suggests washing your child's shoes with a bit of laundry detergent or baking soda. Then, you can sprinkle a little foot powder into your child's shoes to kill off any lingering odors.
7. Let it breathe.
After your child comes home from school or a day of play, take off her shoes and socks once she’s indoors, recommends Dr. Geller. Don’t let her walk barefoot too much though, says KidsHealth. She might pick up even more bacteria.