We’ve all experienced it before. It’s the end of the day; your kids have just come in from playing outside all afternoon after being at school all day. They have trouble undoing the knots in their shoes so you do what any good parent would do…you help them out by untying their shoes and taking them off. Then it happens! You are suddenly hit like a load of bricks in the face with the unmistakable, completely unbearable odor of stinky feet!
Why do kids feet stink? It’s usually due to a build up of bacteria. Bacteria thrive in dark, damp places such as the inside of a child’s shoe. When your child’s foot sweats, it causes the bacteria to multiply and grow. What exactly are these bacteria doing? They’re eating! They’re getting together for small bacteria parties where they feast on dead skin cells and oils from the skin. All that feasting leads to waste in the form of organic acids, which happen to smell really bad.
What makes things worse is that 10-15% of people, including children, have feet that tend to sweat more than normal. This can lead to the formation of a special kind of bacteria that produces volatile sulfur compounds. That’s the stuff that smells like rotten eggs!
So what can you do if to keep your kids feet from stinking up the house? Here are some ideas:
Keep their feet clean – Make sure you teach your children how important it is to wash their feet thoroughly at bath time. It’s also important to dry them well after washing.
Wear socks – Kids who don’t wear socks are more likely to sweat in their shoes, which leads to more bacteria. Be sure kids are wearing socks made with materials that will absorb sweat and still allow feet to breathe (i.e. cotton).
Go barefoot – It’s a good idea to give shoes a break every once in a while and just go barefoot around the house. This allows your feet to dry and prevents bacteria growth.
Wear the right shoes – You’ll want to avoid buying plastic shoes for children. Plastic shoes don’t let your feet breathe the way they should. It’s also important to avoid shoes that are too tight, which can lead to more sweating. If possible, wash your child’s shoes or the insoles of the shoes every once in a while. Be sure that they are completely dried out before your child begins to wear them again.
Use a disinfectant – There are products on the market today specifically designed to use to kill germs and bacteria in shoes. A quick spray of disinfectant each night can help control stinky feet the next day.
Keep your shoes to yourself – Avoid letting your child swap shoes with other children. This only increases the chances of your child picking up or sharing bacteria with other children.
If you give these things a try and they don’t seem to work, give us a call at AllKids Urgent Care. In rare cases, there might be additional medicinal help that can make a difference. Stop by or give us a call to discuss options.