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Vaginitis in Children: Care Instructions

Outside female genital area in child, showing the vulva, including the clitoris, urethra, and vagina, and showing the anus.


Vaginitis is soreness or infection of your child's vagina. This common problem can cause itching and burning. Or there may be a change in vaginal discharge.

In children, vaginitis is most often caused by chemicals found in bath products, soaps, and perfumes. It can also be caused by bacteria, yeast, or other germs.

Not washing the vulva, wearing tight clothing, or being sexually abused may also make vaginitis more likely.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Have your child wash their vulva daily with water.
  • Be sure your child does not use vaginal sprays or douches.
  • Put a face cloth soaked in cool water on the area to relieve itching. Or have your child take cool baths.
  • Don't use laundry soap that is scented. Be sure your child does not use toilet paper, bubble bath, or other bath products that are scented.
  • Be sure your child wears cotton underwear. Have your child avoid wearing tight clothes.
  • Be sure your child knows to wipe from front to back after using the toilet.
  • Make sure your child takes off a wet bathing suit as soon as possible.
  • If the doctor prescribed medicine, have your child take it exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think your child is having a problem with a medicine.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has new or increased pain in their vagina or pelvis.
  • Your child has new or worse vaginal itching or discharge.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child has vaginal bleeding other than their period.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.