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August 1985

Shampoo Urethritis

Author Affiliations

Children's Hospital of Akron Medical Center Emeritus Staff 1935 Second St Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(8):748-749. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140100010009

Sir.—Bubble bath urethritis in both the male and female child is now well known by all pediatricians and family doctors. We continue, however, to see many youngsters with dysuria and urinary frequency who are not using bubble bath and have no other obvious urinary disease.

Searching for some explanation of this problem, I asked mothers of affected children about anything else that they might be adding to their child's bathwater, such as detergents, bath salts, water softeners, etc. Their answer was always negative. It was not until three years ago that I learned to ask the specific question: "Do you shampoo your child's hair in the tub?" I almost invariably received the reply: "Why yes, but I didn't think of that!"

Trying to discover if there were any common ingredients in both bubble bath and shampoo, I wrote to the American Medical Association. I received from Robert H. Wheater,