Question for child health experts: Does a tween/teen HAVE TO shower every single day?

Anonymous
What qualifies as a child health expert?

I see lots of people responding when OP is asking experts to chime in.

I have kids, so do I qualify as a child health expert?
Anonymous
I'm from another country. We were raised to have a bucket bath every day before school. It did make me feel cleaner and seemed like a good start to the day.

Ever since they started having their showers themselves, my kids do not shower every day. More like every other day. One is a tween. If she stinks, I force her to shower. She does so grumpily. There are days when she realizes it herself and showers after school.
Anonymous
So are people who are concerned with climate change willing to forfeit a daily shower?
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Daily showering is NOT necessary for good health for most people, and in fact is likely undermining good health in some cases - never mind the waste of water and energy involved. This is entirely an American thing, we have been brainwashed by advertising of products we don’t need to be clean and healthy.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/showering-daily-is-it-necessary-2019062617193


It is the cultural norm and expectation here. In other countries, various unpleasant body odors are common place. They aren’t here and you will stand out in a negative way. Especially in a group where no one else smells, it’s obvious where the smell is coming from


So then we agree that it's not medically necessary and if there is no BO it's not culturally necessary either. I just don't give a rats ass that you think I should smell like Dove every day.


Except medical professionals DO recommend daily showering. Where did you get the idea that they don't? OP doesn't say what her qualifications are or why she was even "supporting" the teen in her OP. Maybe she should stick to her day job and not question the professionals in charge of helping said teen.


This is OP - WOW there has been a lot more discussion of this! Thanks again to everyone who gave their opinions in a mature adult way and actually answered my question - I really appreciate it regardless of what answer you gave, as long as you did not sound like a cranky insecure teen in your delivery! So, in other words, this comment immediately above? Not even faintly helpful and I love how some complained I gave too much detail, and others like PP have no idea what my day job is and whether this is sticking to it (it is) and so those kinds of posts were entertaining to read but useless in the discussion.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:OP here, first of all THANK YOU for all the answers, I appreciate everyone who took the question seriously even though there was a range of answers.

To answer the couple of people who asked what the issue the meeting was to discuss, it was bedtime routines that will help her sleep better. It's not that I silently disagreed with a nightly shower as a way to relax, I get that. It's that the therapist said "How about you do ______ every night before you take your shower to save time, then take your nightly shower, then - " and the teen interrupted and said "I don't shower every night. Usually every other night." And the therapist was visually surprised and bothered, and instead of asking questions like "So, tell me about your choice not to shower every night, or is there something that stops you from doing it?" And she said "I just don't feel like it every night" and then the therapist went on to say she had to, that it was the only way to stay adequately clean and not smell. AS IF your genital health will actually be compromised and your body odor noticeable if you don't, in every case.

That's what I took issue with, since the therapist had been seeing the girl in person for over a year and no one had complained about any smell or odor, she'd never been bullied or made fun of about it (bullying wasn't an issue at all in her case), and she has many friends.

Again, I am fine with the idea of a shower every night to help relax and make it more likey she'll fall asleep faster (getting to sleep was sometimes an issue for her so overall the parents are being advised to have a more structured routine, which makes perfect sense). It was the therapist going straight in on insisting on daily showers and telling her it was a healthy body/healthy privates issue and very important she do it daily that bugged the hell out of me.

Anonymous wrote:This is why professionals need to give a basis for their recommendations, so you can see if the premise makes sense. Daily bathing is not, for example, a medical/health necessity, but I can see where for some people (adhd, depression, etc) the recommendation is more about sticking to a routine or demonstrating ability to care for oneself. Does not sound like this was needed here though.


Thank you for this, I explained the bigger point above, but you're right, it was originally about the routine but there were other things she offered as ideas to get to sleep faster that the teen or her parents shot down, and the therapist was very flexible. But this she was like "Oh, NO, you MUST SHOWER DAILY!!!" Specifically for medical/health reasons, and that is what bugged me because I've never ever had anyone (and I used to have to train temporary care parents and adoptive parents in the basic necessities and basic practices and of course hygeine was important for both physical and emotional/mental reasons, but never was a daily shower insisted on by the experts. Daily recommended, but clean and at least a few showers/baths a week was mandatory.

Thank you and thanks everyone!


Sorry. But your therapist is right. She really should be showering daily. Perhaps her delivery if that message could be better. But you should have been telling her this all along. So I guess someone else had to.


As you have read from various posts here, there is NO medical need to shower daily. Different bodies have different needs. Not all bodies smell after 23 hours. A lot depends on activity level, climate, and temperature/humidity, too.


The problem with what the therapist said is that she framed it as a medical necessity. That's simply not true.


OP again, as you all can see 13+ pages of comments means there are a lot of opinions about this. I also reached out to 2 different friends who do work on child and teen health nationally. In the end, both of them and the most objective-sounding opinions shared here (plus many of the links) all boil down to what the PP immediately above said: It is NOT a medical necessity or the bar for baseline hygeine to shower every day. It DOES vary from body to body what the minimum should be, both from a cleanliness/hygeine aspect and also from a scent and feeling aspect.

Also, all of you who recognized that I have no issue at all with the suggestion that a shower will help the teen in question get to sleep better and faster, thank you. My issue in all of this was never that that was a suggestion. My issue was how unprofessional it seemed for the therapist to have such a visible reaction and that she stated the need for showering daily NOT as necessary for the issues the teen is dealing with, but necessary as basic basic care and necessary to keep private areas clean and to shower any less frequently is bad for her.

As I've now confirmed through your posts and checking around with many other experts (not just today's 2, although today's 2 work on the national level), the therapist was wrong. Not wrong in suggesting daily showers at all, but wrong in insisting that the teen was wrong for NOT showering daily and it would be medically bad for her to keep just showering every other day. And from a therapeutic point of view, the surprise/shock and tsk tsk reaction was absolutely unprofessional.

So thanks everyone for your answers, I'm going to talk to the therapist because I will be working with her on several cases so I'll share my thoughts and find out more about her stance on it, and share others. She's been good to work with so far, which is why I was so surprised by this, so I'm sure it'll be a good conversation, even if she doesn't move on her opinion of it. But at least I'll share my observations of the teen's reaction and other professional opinions on the specific topic.

Thanks everyone!
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Imagine having so much anxiety and need for control that you feel the need to order internet strangers to shower daily.


What are you taking about? OP ASKED if people think teens need to shower daily and most people are saying yes. If you disagree, bc YOU don’t like to shower daily, ok. No one cares what you do personally


Actually lots of people are saying no too.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:OP here, first of all THANK YOU for all the answers, I appreciate everyone who took the question seriously even though there was a range of answers.

To answer the couple of people who asked what the issue the meeting was to discuss, it was bedtime routines that will help her sleep better. It's not that I silently disagreed with a nightly shower as a way to relax, I get that. It's that the therapist said "How about you do ______ every night before you take your shower to save time, then take your nightly shower, then - " and the teen interrupted and said "I don't shower every night. Usually every other night." And the therapist was visually surprised and bothered, and instead of asking questions like "So, tell me about your choice not to shower every night, or is there something that stops you from doing it?" And she said "I just don't feel like it every night" and then the therapist went on to say she had to, that it was the only way to stay adequately clean and not smell. AS IF your genital health will actually be compromised and your body odor noticeable if you don't, in every case.

That's what I took issue with, since the therapist had been seeing the girl in person for over a year and no one had complained about any smell or odor, she'd never been bullied or made fun of about it (bullying wasn't an issue at all in her case), and she has many friends.

Again, I am fine with the idea of a shower every night to help relax and make it more likey she'll fall asleep faster (getting to sleep was sometimes an issue for her so overall the parents are being advised to have a more structured routine, which makes perfect sense). It was the therapist going straight in on insisting on daily showers and telling her it was a healthy body/healthy privates issue and very important she do it daily that bugged the hell out of me.

Anonymous wrote:This is why professionals need to give a basis for their recommendations, so you can see if the premise makes sense. Daily bathing is not, for example, a medical/health necessity, but I can see where for some people (adhd, depression, etc) the recommendation is more about sticking to a routine or demonstrating ability to care for oneself. Does not sound like this was needed here though.


Thank you for this, I explained the bigger point above, but you're right, it was originally about the routine but there were other things she offered as ideas to get to sleep faster that the teen or her parents shot down, and the therapist was very flexible. But this she was like "Oh, NO, you MUST SHOWER DAILY!!!" Specifically for medical/health reasons, and that is what bugged me because I've never ever had anyone (and I used to have to train temporary care parents and adoptive parents in the basic necessities and basic practices and of course hygeine was important for both physical and emotional/mental reasons, but never was a daily shower insisted on by the experts. Daily recommended, but clean and at least a few showers/baths a week was mandatory.

Thank you and thanks everyone!


Sorry. But your therapist is right. She really should be showering daily. Perhaps her delivery if that message could be better. But you should have been telling her this all along. So I guess someone else had to.


As you have read from various posts here, there is NO medical need to shower daily. Different bodies have different needs. Not all bodies smell after 23 hours. A lot depends on activity level, climate, and temperature/humidity, too.


The problem with what the therapist said is that she framed it as a medical necessity. That's simply not true.


OP again, as you all can see 13+ pages of comments means there are a lot of opinions about this. I also reached out to 2 different friends who do work on child and teen health nationally. In the end, both of them and the most objective-sounding opinions shared here (plus many of the links) all boil down to what the PP immediately above said: It is NOT a medical necessity or the bar for baseline hygeine to shower every day. It DOES vary from body to body what the minimum should be, both from a cleanliness/hygeine aspect and also from a scent and feeling aspect.

Also, all of you who recognized that I have no issue at all with the suggestion that a shower will help the teen in question get to sleep better and faster, thank you. My issue in all of this was never that that was a suggestion. My issue was how unprofessional it seemed for the therapist to have such a visible reaction and that she stated the need for showering daily NOT as necessary for the issues the teen is dealing with, but necessary as basic basic care and necessary to keep private areas clean and to shower any less frequently is bad for her.

As I've now confirmed through your posts and checking around with many other experts (not just today's 2, although today's 2 work on the national level), the therapist was wrong. Not wrong in suggesting daily showers at all, but wrong in insisting that the teen was wrong for NOT showering daily and it would be medically bad for her to keep just showering every other day. And from a therapeutic point of view, the surprise/shock and tsk tsk reaction was absolutely unprofessional.

So thanks everyone for your answers, I'm going to talk to the therapist because I will be working with her on several cases so I'll share my thoughts and find out more about her stance on it, and share others. She's been good to work with so far, which is why I was so surprised by this, so I'm sure it'll be a good conversation, even if she doesn't move on her opinion of it. But at least I'll share my observations of the teen's reaction and other professional opinions on the specific topic.

Thanks everyone!


Please show her your posts so she can understand who she’s working with.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:So are people who are concerned with climate change willing to forfeit a daily shower?


I would think teens would be into helping with climate change. Some days you only need to use a face cloth and wash the part of the body that get sweaty and dirty. Wash your face and hands. New face cloth to wash under arms and private area. You don’t need gallons of water poured over your body every day. Not when there are people in war zones that have nothing to eat or drink. Americans can be so embarrassing.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:All the teens and adults I know who only shower every other day or third day do in fact smell. They think they don’t, but they do.


how do you know how often people shower?

i have 3 kids. the oldest showers every other day. the middle one showers every day, often twice a day. guess which one stinks?


Why would we take your word for it? You’re probably used to the smells and funk that others aren’t.


i am not used to it. i can smell it, but it's coming from the child who showers religiously. just because you can smell something doesn't mean you know how that smell came about i.e. how often the person showers. i am not saying it's unrelated, of course if someone doesn't shower for a month you will know. but when it comes to exact frequency (twice a day vs daily vs every other day vs a couple of times per week), you can't tell with much certainty.
Anonymous
Maybe the child who showers but smells is not washing properly, I had a kid who would just stand under the water. So supervise and instruct and guide. And once they wash properly with soap or shower gel they need to apply antiperspirant or deodorant. And clothes need to be clean, not reworn if smell. Pillowcases may need to be changed frequently if they have oily skin. Washcloths and clean towels should be changed as often as needed or will just put bacteria back.
Anonymous


You would be surprised how kids don’t have proper /consistent heat or hot water at home so can’t shower every day in the winter
Anonymous
How many*
Anonymous
My first and last week in property mgt I worked with real POS landlords who bragged about the low showers and water bills in the winter due to weak central heat and hot water heaters intentionally so . They also wanted me to rent to immigrants only even if they didn’t have proper income proof because they wouldn’t sue or complain about the heat like American tenants would

Anonymous
Teens who shower alot could also be hiding cigarette or weed odor . My niece was caught with this . Just a heads up to all the teen parents here
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:Teens who shower alot could also be hiding cigarette or weed odor . My niece was caught with this . Just a heads up to all the teen parents here


Do they also wash their clothes every day?
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