Stinky kids...

  1. How do you all handle them?! They always get sent to me and I'm elementary and usually if its urine smell the kid will admit they had an accident in their pants and that is an easy fix BUT what do you do with kids who just smell?

    Right now I have a 2nd grader who smells so badly. I just dont know how to address it. I did see her before and she admitted that the water was shut off at their house and that they were going to grandmas to get baths only weekly. Since then water has been restored and she still smells, I can't even figure out what exactly it is, they do not have pets. Worst part is mom is the type where there is no 'good' way to approach it (not that there is with stinky kids but I've dealt with her in the past-its everyone else's fault type of person, causes a huge scene, plasters stuff all over FB etc)
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    About Csn2016, BSN, RN

    Joined: May '16; Posts: 40; Likes: 86

    10 Comments

  3. by   OldDude
    If the other kids are making fun of her it's a counselor issue, otherwise there isn't a school policy prohibiting body odor or stinky clothes at school. Not your issue.
  4. by   ruby_jane
    My least favorite thing - and you need a multidisciplinary approach with teacher, counselor and maybe even principal, considering the parent's history with publicizing her lack of ability to parent... I'd check shoes first - it's amazing how that can be the source of much evil...you probably can't offer her a shower and may not be able to offer clean clothing. Old Dude has a point. If this hasn't risen to the level of bullying, then your involvement is going to be minimal.
  5. by   OhioBPH
    Not a medical issue, but if they did not have water for a while, are the clothes soiled? If they were not washed and dried appropriately it could be that he clothing needs replaced. I have a student who always smells like feces, because he has trouble getting to the bathroom in time/behaviorally will soil himself and the clothes are not washed well enough.
  6. by   Crystal-Wings
    I have a friend that's an elementary school teacher and she told me she had a student once that smelled awful and came to school almost everyday in sopping wet clothes. It turned out the kid was living in a house with a broken washer and mom, who was a single parent with 3 other kids and 2 jobs didn't have time to take laundry to the laundry mat. There was also no electricity in the home. CPS was called.
  7. by   Csn2016
    Quote from OldDude
    If the other kids are making fun of her it's a counselor issue, otherwise there isn't a school policy prohibiting body odor or stinky clothes at school. Not your issue.
    I wish they'd realize this (she is not being bullied yet but the odor can be strong enough to make your eyes water when standing here her too long)...I get all the stinky kids sent to me (which honestly isn't so bad because in elementary school I can usually pinpoint it to the student having an accident but in this case not so much)...Same thing with bugs. Just had one sent to me this morning with a bug on her jacket--Im not an exterminator!
  8. by   Csn2016
    Yes shoes can be a big culprit! I had a kid last year who smelled so bad and I realized it was his shoes and from talking to him figured out that their new cat had been peeing in his shoes. that was a pretty easy fix
  9. by   ana010
    I'm at a high school and counselors send to me!
  10. by   Blue_Moon
    Yes everyone likes to make this a nurse issue and there's not much we can do unfortunately. We've had a few cases and we've done things like have conferences with parents (including principal), bought hygiene supplies and sent home, washed laundry, etc. The only thing that really works is having the child shower at school (if u have a shower but we don't and if the student is willing) and washing their clothes for them but most of the time they don't want you to do that on a regular basis. We just referred a 6 yr old to CPS for a really bad case of basically neglect and CPS said it wasn't the worst case they've seen and the child wasn't in danger so they couldn't do anything. It's basically a life style choice and the people who live like that don't even smell it because they are so used to it. The teachers don't like to hear that. You can always try and explain why it's important to be clean and offer help and suggestions to the parents and child but unless a student comes to you and asks for help with that matter then most likely they aren't going to change. It's always so awkward for everyone involved too. Not fun!
  11. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from ana010
    I'm at a high school and counselors send to me!
    Ugh
  12. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from ana010
    I'm at a high school and counselors send to me!
    I sometimes get this as well. But it is because the counselor is overwhelmed with a huge load of students and an odor issue is lower on the totem pole, so to speak. Sometimes it is lower priority for me as well, but if it is a student I have a relationship with I'll look into it. Or I will reach out to a principal or Dean or my boss who is charge of communication with out families - they are all pretty great at also looking into this issue to make sure it isn't related to need issue.

    Sometimes kids just stink. Puberty comes with new smells. Sometimes a new hygiene routine helps, sometimes it doesn't.

    Also, I've been sent "stinky" kids and when I smell them, their odor doesn't offend me. It can be subjective.

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