Mosquito Repellents For Babies And Kids: Everything You Need To Know, theAsianparent

Mosquito Repellent for Babies and Kids: Everything You Need to Know

How safe are they for our kids and babies? Consider these great and safe mosquito repellent options for your little one.

Mosquitoes are everywhere and so is the deadly dengue, therefore using mosquito repellents is paramount in protecting your kids from these insects. But do you know whether they are safe on babies? Could they pose a risk to your child’s health?

The use of mosquito repellents has skyrocketed today but a lot of us are unaware of the hazards of such chemicals. Especially with babies and kids, it is important to find out how safe these repellents are before regularising their use. While there are plenty of insect repellents in the market, not all of them are good for your babies. Some may be too harsh on the skin while others might cause allergic conditions in the body. Taking enough time to research on the best mosquito repellent for babies and kids is very important so that any potential health hazards are avoided.

Whether you’re taking your baby for a walk or simply slipping him/her to bed in your cosy home, some bugs like mosquitoes and ticks cannot be completely removed. Insect repellents prove to be very helpful in protecting yourself and your kids from insect-borne diseases. There are many studies shed light on how safe these repellents are. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), repellents that contain picaridin or DEET are safe for use on babies who are over 2 months old. It is found that natural and organic repellents are also best for children, but not advisable for babies below 2 years of age.

Very few body reactions have been reported to date from the use of insect repellents. However, it is important to take precautions while using these chemicals on your kids.

  • Make sure that you apply/spray only as much as it is required; avoid over excessive usage.
  • Apply the repellent only on the exposed area of the body and not under the clothes.
  • Do not apply repellents over itchy or irritated skin, open wounds and cuts.
  • Spray the repellent on your hand before applying on your child; and avoid spraying on their hands, mouth and eyes.
  • Use the repellent in a well-ventilated space.
  • Avoid applying repellent in combination with sunscreen or other lotions because it can lower the effectiveness of the spray and make you apply more than what’s required.
  • Use it only when absolutely necessary e.g. when going outdoors, in the evenings when mosquitoes swarm in and around the house, and when your baby’s room seems to house troublesome bugs. Avoid using the repellent throughout the day when it’s not needed.
  • Avoid scented lotions when going out as they can attract bugs.
  • Once the kids are back home, wash off their treated skin areas thoroughly with soap.
  • Wash all the repellent-treated clothing before the next use.

With several insect repellents making their way into the market, it can get quite confusing when deciding which one to buy. To make things easy for you, here’s a list of different types of mosquito repellents for babies and kids that will take care of you and your kids from trouble-causing bugs.

1. DEET – As per studies, DEET-containing repellents — like the ‘OFF FamilyCare spray’ — are amongst the most effective options for keeping bugs at bay. However, it is recommended to use repellents with DEET concentration of no more than 30% (a higher DEET concentration only means that it lasts much longer). Make sure to use the lowest concentration that works best for you.

See also:  How To Clean Your House From Fleas 2020 Guide

Mosquito repellents for travellers

  1. Nina M Stanczyk , research fellow 1 ,
  2. Ron H Behrens , senior lecturer 1 2 ,
  3. Vanessa Chen-Hussey , research scientist and clinical trials manager 1 3 ,
  4. Sophie A Stewart , senior research scientist and clinical trials coordinator 3 ,
  5. James G Logan , senior lecturer 1 3
  1. 1 Department of Disease Control, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK
  2. 2 Hospital for Tropical Diseases, London, UK
  3. 3 Arthropod Control Product Test Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: James G Logan
  • Accepted 23 December 2014

The bottom line

Always recommend a topically applied repellent with a proven active ingredient such as DEET (20-50%), PMD (30%), or Icaridin (20-50%). IR3535 (20%) is recommended only for areas that are not malaria endemic

Reapply repellents at least every six to eight hours if using DEET or IR3535, or every four to six hours for PMD and Icaridin, and sooner if they wear off while swimming or sweating in warm weather

DEET can be used on children over 8 weeks old, PMD on children over 3 years

DEET is safe for use from the second trimester onwards and while breast feeding

Case scenario

A pregnant woman visits you as her general practitioner (GP) because she and her children will be visiting a country with mosquito borne disease. You recommend using repellents to protect against mosquitoes, as well as vaccinations and other relevant disease prevention measures. She asks which repellents would be best.

What are the active ingredients?

The key factors to consider when choosing a repellent are the active chemical ingredients and the strength (concentration (%) of active ingredient) because these influence the efficacy and duration of protection. 1 2 There are four active ingredients with sufficient published scientific evidence to warrant recommendation. Repellents are useful in areas of low risk of mosquito borne disease to prevent nuisance biting (which may lead to problems such as allergies) and are essential in moderate to high risk areas (figure ⇓ ) to prevent disease transmission (such as malaria and dengue fever) through bites. Repellents work on mosquitoes by directly stimulating avoidance behaviour or by blocking the mosquito’s receptors for attractive odours, not though toxicity. 3

Areas of low, moderate, and high risk of mosquito borne disease worldwide

DEET—N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide has been in use since 1946 and is the “gold standard” repellent recommended by the World Health Organization Pesticide Evaluation …

DEET Repellents Safe in Pregnancy to Prevent Zika

Analysis of available evidence on the insecticide finds no cause for concern

MONDAY, Oct. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) — DEET insect repellents won’t harm a pregnant woman or her fetus when used as instructed to prevent infection with the Zika virus, a new research analysis suggests.

Exposure to the mosquito-transmitted virus during pregnancy can cause devastating birth defects, including microcephaly, which results in abnormally small heads and brains.

Because of this, recommendations to mothers-to-be include protecting themselves from mosquito bites by using products containing DEET in areas where Zika is circulating.

But some women worry that the repellents themselves might pose a toxic threat to an unborn child. Not so, say the authors of the new research review.

«Given what we know about both Zika and DEET, the evidence overwhelmingly favors use of DEET-containing products,» said Dr. Blair Wylie, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School’s division of maternal-fetal medicine.

Her team noted that a 1998 Environmental Protection Agency review determined that DEET posed no health risk to users. The EPA reaffirmed that finding in 2014.

«An infection during pregnancy with Zika can put babies at risk for death, birth defects including brain problems, poor growth, and hearing or eyesight loss,» Wylie said. «Insect repellents are key to prevention.»

Typically, that means repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). The insecticide has been used since the 1950s and is available in more than 200 products.

These repellents are «considered safe with few side effects if used properly,» added Wylie, lead author of the new study. It’s published in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

«Proper» use, Wylie added, means avoiding the eyes, mouth, cuts and irritated skin when applying to the face. Also, apply DEET after sunscreen (don’t use combination products), wash your hands after application and don’t apply it under clothing.

Another ob-gyn agreed with the study’s conclusion that DEET is safe for pregnant women.

«The available data suggests that DEET is safe in pregnancy,» said Dr. R. Phillips Heine, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

«There is little that is absorbed systemically, so the fetus will be exposed to very low amounts. I would recommend DEET, as well as other mosquito-avoidance measures,» Heine said.


These measures generally include covering arms and legs, using window screens and avoiding geographic areas where Zika is prevalent.

DEET products are available in concentrations ranging from 5 percent to nearly 100 percent, Wylie said, adding she would never recommend using anything above 30 percent.

Why? «Because their effectiveness at repelling insects plateaus around there,» she said. «The added concentration would not increase benefit.»

This advice, Wylie added, applies to any user, male or female.

While the Zika epidemic is concentrated in South America and the Caribbean, 105 cases of «local transmission» have occurred in Florida. However, the vast majority of Zika infections in the United States have been linked to patient exposure during travel outside the mainland 48 states.

Some cases of Zika have been transmitted sexually.

Symptoms of Zika can last several weeks, and include a fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes (conjunctivitis), muscle pain and/or headaches.

But most healthy adults will experience only a mild reaction, or none at all.

What You Need to Know About Insect Repellent for Kids

Concerned about bug bites but worried about chemicals? Here’s how to protect children from ticks and mosquitoes.

Each time your children play in the yard or join you on a family hike or camping trip, you may feel like you face an unpleasant choice: Should you take a chance that a bug bite might lead to a mosquito- or tick-borne illness, such as Lyme disease, or expose kids to the chemicals in some insect repellents, such as deet?

The good news: Experts say that insect repellents registered with the Environmental Protection Agency—such as those containing deet—pose little hazard when used appropriately.

“To the best of our knowledge, they are effective,” says Lisa Asta, M.D., spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. “They are safe when used as directed.”

Some mosquito- and tick-borne illnesses, however, can make kids (and adults) quite sick. Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease in the U.S., can cause fever, rash, severe headache, neck stiffness, and joint pain. Certain less common illnesses spread by bugs, such as West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis, can be fatal.

And more diseases are emerging all the time. “We’re seeing newer pathogens from other areas that we did not used to have to concern ourselves with,” Asta says. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study from earlier this year found that nine new mosquito- and tick-borne diseases have been found in the U.S. since 2006.

So, how to keep the bugs away from your kids? Here, based on Consumer Reports’ insect repellent testing and other research, is what you need to know about how to use the most effective protective products the right way.

Reduce Their Chance of Exposure

A couple of steps that don’t involve repellents can help discourage bug-to-kid contact in the first place, so you can start with these.

For instance, get rid of any standing water in your yard, Asta says, and remove receptacles where water can collect and allow mosquitoes to breed—such as empty buckets, bird baths, and unused tires. To make the area less hospitable to ticks, clean up any dead leaves or overgrown brush and mow long grasses.

If you’re going to be in an area where there may be a lot of mosquitoes, have kids wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. If you’re going hiking or in the woods or tall grasses, make sure they also wear closed-toe shoes and tuck pants into long socks to help keep ticks from biting.

Choose Safe and Effective Repellents

In CR’s testing, the products that provide the longest-lasting protection have one of three active ingredients: deet, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE).

Deet products earned most of our top scores, with concentrations of 25 to 30 percent providing the most reliable and longest-lasting protection—repelling mosquitoes for longer than 6½ hours for some products that we tested. One OLE product and two picaridin products also got our recommendation, providing 5 or more hours of protection.

But what about safety? Here’s what the experts say.

Deet. The safety of this chemical, which has been available to consumers in insect repellents since 1965, has been thoroughly studied over the years. But after a handful of health problems—such as seizures and brain damage—were reported in children who’d been exposed to deet in the 1980s and 1990s, some parents became concerned about the ingredient. And some people still worry.

But according to the EPA, these issues typically occurred when people failed to follow label instructions and used too much deet (PDF). An extensive 1998 EPA review of deet’s safety (PDF) estimated that deet-related seizure is rare, likely to occur in only around 1 in 100 million users. And according to the CDC’s 2017 update on the toxicity of deet [PDF], the overall risk of any problems appears to be quite low.

“To me, that puts it in perspective,” says Jerome Goddard, Ph.D., extension professor of entomology at Mississippi State University—that the benefits are likely to outweigh any risks, especially when deet is used as directed.

The CDC and EPA (and Consumer Reports) agree that deet is safe to use on kids, as long as you follow the label instructions.

And do take commonsense precautions, advises Joe Conlon, a former Navy entomologist and technical adviser to the American Mosquito Control Association. “You should not leave bottles of this stuff around kids, because it is harmful if swallowed,” he says.

Mosquito repellent and children — Cancun Forum

We are due to visit Mexico shortly and need to take mosquito repellent with us. I have a 6 year old and not keen on using Deet products. Has anybody got a recommendations for an effective and safe repellent.

Have you looked into Natrapel? It has Picaridin

This has lot of reviews

Amazon keyword mosquito bracelet

Not sure if you can get Avon products in UK. Avon makes a deet-free bug guard that I LOVE. Not to be confused with the skin so soft, they make an actual bug guard. Works great and smells good

Well, as stated before numerous posts, a bracelet will prevent biting around the bracelet only.

Hope this helps.

Where exactly are you staying.We have stayed in hotel zone twice and have not seen a single mozzie on either occasion.

I recently purchased an organic bug spray with all natural ingredients like peppermint oil etc. Haven’t tried it yet but there are several natural, kid-safe options with good reviews like this one:…

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