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Do I Have to Get a Bath?

October 11, 2016

The American Academy of Dermatology has weighed in on the question of how often children need to bathe. The answer might surprise you.

"Depending on their age and activity level, most children only need a bath a few times a week," said board-certified dermatologist Dr. Robert Sidbury, associate professor at theUniversity of Washington School of Medicine. "For children, a few germs here and there are healthy, as this is how their bodies learn to fight off bacteria and build stronger immune systems."

He offers these guidelines:

Age: In general, children ages 6 to 11 years old only need to bathe two to three times per week.

Hair type: Children ages 6 to 11 generally only have to shampoo their hair once or twice a week until puberty starts. However, children of African descent or children of any age with dry or curly hair only need to shampoo their hair once every seven to 10 days.

Activity level: Children should bathe and wash their hair whenever they get dirty, such as playing in the mud; after being in a pool, lake, ocean or other body of water; and whenever they get sweaty or have body odor.

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For a video on the subject, visit the AAD website or YouTube channel.



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