Mosquito Repellents For Babies: A Buying Guide
Whether you are out camping, hiking, fishing, or simply enjoying a barbecue in the backyard with friends, you just can’t seem to enjoy the warmer weather without being pestered by mosquitoes. Human skin (and blood) attracts these blood-sucking pests like moths to a flame. They are hyper-sensitive to the warmth emitted by our bodies as well as the odor of carbon dioxide and other gases emitted by our skin.
Not only are their bites itchy and irritating, but mosquitoes are also the carriers of many dangerous diseases. These include malaria, the West Nile virus, the dengue fever, the Ross River virus, and the Zika virus. Infected mosquitoes can pass these diseases on to us as they feed on our blood.
Even though they have a short lifespan of only 2 to 3 weeks, mosquitoes breed extremely rapidly. The female of the species is capable of laying hundreds of eggs, resulting in an equal amount of offspring, in a very short period of time. All mosquitoes require to reproduce is water (such as that found in ponds, streams, creeks, swimming pools, birdbaths, fish ponds, etc.), and a source of food (us!).
Mosquito Repellents For Babies
When under attack by hordes of swarming mosquitoes, the solution for most of us goes without saying. You simply lather yourself up with mosquito repellent to form a chemical barrier between yourself and the bugs. Nowadays, insect repellents come in sprays, lotions, gels, roll-ons, and even shampoos. So, there is something out there for just about everyone.
But what about babies? They need protection from mosquitoes, too. But applying a mosquito repellent on your little one requires a great deal of care and caution. Some repellents contain insecticide ingredients that are toxic to children and even potentially toxic to adults as well. Other products are certified as safe for babies and young children. Let’s take a look at which repellent ingredients are safe for babies.
Mosquito Repellent Formulas: Which Ingredients Are Baby-Safe?
With the right formula and the right precautions, mosquito repellents can be baby-safe. Generally speaking, the exception is for babies younger than two months of age. This is great news for those who like to take their little ones out to enjoy nature during the warmer months.
Generally speaking, insect repellent formulas fall into four separate categories, based on their active ingredient.
In the past, most repellents used a synthetic chemical known as DEET (N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) to act as the best line of defense against insects. While it is effective at repelling bugs, the problem with DEET is that many people think it could be toxic to humans – not only children but adults as well. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using products containing DEET on children below two months of age. Products with only 10% DEET may be safe to use on older children. Products containing 30% DEET or more should not be used on children of ANY age.
Some repellents use essential oils from plants like cedar, citronella, eucalyptus, and soybean to ward off mosquitoes. Plant-based repellents are not very long-lasting, though. Protection generally does not last for more than two hours. While less potent than DEET, plant-based repellents are 100% natural and non-toxic. For that reason, they are generally safe to use on young children. The exception to this is babies younger than two months of age. Because these repellents require regular reapplication, their use is not recommended until after the baby is two months old.
Permethrin is another potent insecticide. This substance is a synthetic chemical whose structure resembles a natural insecticide from the chrysanthemum flower. Even though it is synthetic, it is mostly non-toxic. But it does not provide much protection against mosquitoes, only ticks, lice, etc. It should only be applied only to clothing and not to bare skin.
Picaridin is one of the newer insect repellent ingredients in town. It claims to be as powerful and as long-lasting as products with 10% DEET. It is also odorless, colorless, and feels light when applied to the skin. While it is a promising candidate for use as a baby mosquito repellent, the American Academy of Pediatrics has not given it its seal of approval, so far.
Tips for Using Mosquito Repellents on Babies
Never apply repellent on or around your child’s mouth or eyes. The same goes for areas with cuts and irritated or infected skin. Do not spray repellent directly onto their face.
If you are looking for the best mosquito repellent for babies, infants, and toddlers, then you have come to the right place. This list of those mosquito repellents in different forms will be very useful for you. These are perfect for use on kids of any age because they are gentle and do not contain any harsh chemicals but are extremely efficient at keeping your children safe from mosquitoes.
So, check out our recommendations and choose the mosquito repellent that is perfect for your needs. You will not have to be afraid to go outside with your child during mosquito season ever again!