Summertime is here and mosquitoes are buzzing near. While everyone should take precautions against insect bites, is it safe to use insect repellents on your baby’s skin, or are there safer alternatives? To avoid itchiness and protect against diseases like Zika virus, West Nile virus, malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses, it’s important to research the facts and understand what mosquito repellents are safe for babies.
Ingredients Used in Mosquito Repellents for Babies
DEET is the most widely used insect repellent, but is not recommended for use on children under 2 months old. For babies older than 2 months, repellents with up to 30% DEET can be used, but should be sprayed on the clothes, not directly on the skin. DEET has been proven to be an effective and safe insect repellent when used in lower concentrations, but can cause skin and eye irritation when used in higher concentrations. Therefore, it’s important to follow product labels and use only as directed.
Picaridin is a synthetic insect repellent used in many European countries. It’s safe to use on babies six months of age and older, and can be sprayed directly onto the skin. Studies have shown that it’s as effective as DEET, but won’t cause skin or eye irritation.
Citronella and Soybean Oil
Citronella and Soybean Oil are two of the most common natural insect repellents which are safe to use on babies six months of age and older. They don’t contain toxic chemicals, so they generally don’t cause irritation to the skin. However, they need to be reapplied more frequently than traditional insect repellents and may not be as effective.
Safe Usage Tips for Mosquito Repellents for Babies
Always Read Labels
It’s important to read product labels before using any insect repellent on a baby. Pay special attention to warnings, safety instructions, and appropriate usage instructions.
To avoid skin and eye irritation, only apply a thin layer of insect repellent to exposed skin. Don’t saturate or reapply frequently, as this can result in skin irritation or rashes.
Covering up exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats is one of the most effective ways to keep away biting insects.
Keep Away from Mucous Membranes and Eyes
It’s important to avoid contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth when applying insect repellents to babies.
Choose Repellents with Low Concentrations
For babies younger than 2 months old, avoid using repellents with higher concentrations of DEET or Picaridin. When using any insect repellents on children, always try to use the lowest concentration that’s effective.
People Also Ask Questions
What is the best mosquito repellent for babies?
The best mosquito repellent for babies is one with low concentrations of DEET or Picaridin, or a natural alternative such as Citronella or Soybean Oil.
Are mosquito repellents safe for infants?
Mosquito repellents containing DEET or Picaridin are safe to use on babies 2 months of age and older. For infants younger than 2 months, natural alternatives such as Citronella or Soybean Oil should be used.
How can you prevent mosquito bites for babies?
To prevent mosquito bites for babies, it’s important to cover up exposed skin with long clothing, and to use insect repellents that are safe for babies. Only use repellents with low concentrations of DEET or Picaridin, or natural alternatives such as Citronella or Soybean Oil.
Does DEET work against mosquitoes?
Yes, DEET is an effective insect repellent when used in lower concentrations. It’s important to use only as directed, and to avoid contact with skin, eyes and mucous membranes.
Is DEET safe to use on babies?
DEET is safe to use on babies 2 months of age and older, but should be sprayed on the clothes, not directly on the skin. It should be used in low concentrations and with caution, following product labels and safety instructions.
Mosquito repellents are an important tool in the fight against mosquito-borne illnesses. It’s important to research the facts and understand which repellents are safe to use on babies. For babies younger than 2 months, natural alternatives such as Citronella or Soybean Oil may be the best option. Always read product labels, avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes, and only use as directed to maximize safety and effectiveness.