Page header image

Excessive Sweating

What is sweating?

The purpose of sweating is to cool off the body by evaporation. You may be concerned because your child has a wet pillow after naps or that your child's bed is wet after sleeping. Both of these situations can be perfectly normal.

Your teenager may be unduly worried about underarm perspiration. Teenagers may be reassured that sweating normally increases with exercise and tension, and this is never abnormal.

What causes sweating?

The most common cause of sweating is overheating due to hot weather, a hot room, overdressing, or too many blankets. When a child is covered up in bed, the only way to release heat is through the head. Night sweats in a child who is otherwise well mean nothing. Sweat glands are found throughout the body, so your child's bed may be wet from sweat in places other than his pillow.

Your child can sweat when he has a fever. Take your child's temperature if you suspect he has a fever.

How can I take care of my child?

Turn down the heat in your home. Dress your child in lighter clothing for naps. Offer your child extra fluids in hot weather to prevent dehydration. Adolescents, of course, need to be introduced to underarm antiperspirants/deodorants to prevent body odor. For foot odors from too much perspiration, change socks and shoes during the day or use special shoe liners that absorb odors.

When should I call my child's health care provider?

Call during office hours if:

  • Your baby is under 1 month old.
  • Your child has unexplained fevers (over 100F, or 37.8C).
  • Your child has unexplained weight loss.
  • You have other questions or concerns.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2006-03-01
Last reviewed: 2006-03-01
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
Page footer image