Daily baths for young kids may not be necessary, experts say

By Rebecca Burton • Published: December 8th, 2016
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Parents: Do you find bath time for your youngsters to be a nightly struggle? What if you only had to fight that uphill battle a few times a week? According to members of the American Academy of Dermatology, a daily bath for children who have not yet reached puberty is not necessary for them to stay healthy. In fact, the experts say a few lingering germs in between showers actually can keep kids healthy by building stronger immune systems.

The number of baths per week should depend on a child’s age and activity level. But in general, dermatologists seem to agree on this schedule: If your child is between 6 and 11 years old, they only need to bathe two to three times a week and wash their hair one to two times per week. Those with dry or curly hair may only need to wash their hair once every seven to 10 days. If the child’s hair is dry, they should use a conditioner by itself between shampoos.

Of course, children should bathe and wash their hair whenever they get dirty. Messy activities requiring bathing could include playing in the dirt, swimming in a pool or lake or whenever they have sweated a lot.

However, once children hit puberty, they should begin a daily bathing schedule and wash their hair every other day. At this age, it is also best to wash their faces in the morning and at night to remove dirt buildup.

Experts say that by this point, bath time starts to be less of a challenge. As kids hit their preteens, they begin seeing the importance of a daily shower—and some even start looking forward to it.