How Often Should a Child Shower? A Pediatrician's Advice

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.24 - 2024 9:18 PM CET

Generally, younger children can get through the week with a couple of showers, but teenagers have a much greater need for showering.

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Babies generally should be bathed once or twice a week, but always as needed. It's less clear how often slightly older children should be sent to shower.

Common sense dictates that visible dirt should always be washed away, and a wash does good when the child has sweated. Daily, however, it can sometimes be hard to judge the need for a shower, as small children do not smell of sweat. Moreover, a small child's scalp does not become as greasy as that of adults or teenagers. consulted an expert on the matter and then compiled a guide with pediatrician Krupa Playworth.

So, how often should a child shower?

There isn't a definitive answer to this question, as the need for a bath varies depending on the child's age and the day's activities. For instance, it's good to shower after swimming, just as it's beneficial if the skin has had sunscreen or insect repellent on during the day.

Most school-age children are capable of showering themselves, but younger children need an adult's help and supervision.

Ages 3-4

According to pediatrician Krupa Playworth, it's more common to bathe 3-4-year-olds than to use the shower. In any case, two to three washes per week are sufficient.

Playworth states that bacteria from daycare can be combated with daily washing, though to prevent illnesses, it's enough to wash hands and face when the child comes home from daycare. Excessive washing should be avoided as a child's skin is sensitive.

Ages 5-9

Playworth recommends that children in this age group shower at least twice a week. They should also shower after intense sweating and dirt.

Playworth notes that if a child suffers from allergies or atopic dermatitis, the child may benefit from more frequent washes. However, these issues are always specific cases, so it's a good idea to consult a pediatrician.

Ages 10-12

In this age group, the child's need for showering varies as puberty progresses at its own pace.

Playworth's recommendation is that 10-12-year-olds should bathe at least twice a week and as needed. However, if the child's puberty has already started, parents should guide them to shower more often.

Ages 13 and Older

According to Playworth, a teenager should shower daily. It may be that a parent needs to remind especially the youngest in this age group that it would be a good idea to shower.

Additionally, it's beneficial for teenagers to wash their face twice a day, aiding skin health while hormones surge.

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