Hesperian Health Guides


Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 11: Helping Your Child Know Where She Is (Orientation) > Smell

Smells, like sounds, can give information about things close by or at a distance. To understand how to use smells, your child needs to learn to identify different smells and where they come from. You can use your everyday tasks to help your child learn about smells in the community.

To help improve your child's sense of smell

When you are walking, explain the different smells around you — for example, from food, flowers, animals, garbage. If at all possible, bring your child close enough to touch the object that she smells.

a market vendor speaking with a child who is with a man.
Good morning, little girl. Do you smell something good?
Good morning, sir. I smell peaches.
HCWB Ch11 Page 110-2.png
Would you like to have a peach?
Can you go to the cart yourself, Maria?
The next time you walk together, see
if she can name the smells herself...
...and ask her to walk toward
the smell or away from it.

a woman cutting onions and speaking to a child.
Whew, that’s a strong smell. Do you know what it is, Rina?
Throughout the day, point out different foods and household things that have strong smells. See if your child can identify them.