Are you looking for mosquito repellents that are safe for babies? Taking your child outdoors to get in touch with nature is a great experience for both parent and child. However, there's always the risk of your baby being bitten by mosquitoes, especially if you're going to be in an area that's known to have a risk of dengue fever. |
Mosquito bites are usually nothing to worry about, with minor effects like itching or minimal swelling. However, if your child is sensitive or allergic to mosquitoes, the effects could be fatal. The best way to protect your baby would be to apply an insect repellent, but first you should make sure that such a repellent would be safe for your baby. In this article, we're going to look at what kinds of mosquito repellents that are suitable for babies, as well as where to find them and what precautions to take when applying mosquito repellents for babies.
The best mosquito repellents contain DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide), which is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. In fact, Consumer Reports found a direct correlation between the concentration of DEET and the number of hours of protection against insect bites. DEET is also the most widely available repellent.
However, is DEET safe for your baby? While no definitive studies exist about what concentration is safe for children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a 30% concentration is safe for both children and adults. Repellents with a 30% concentration of DEET should give your baby protection for up to 5 hours. No serious illness has been linked to the use of DEET among children when it is used according to manufacturer's recommendations.
An alternative to synthetic mosquito repellents for babies are natural repellents. Natural repellents usually contain essential oils such as cedar, eucalyptus, lavender, neem oil and rosemary. Mixing 10 drops of any of these essential oils with a carrier oil can create a good homemade mosquito repellent that can be applied. However, natural repellents usually do not last as long as synthetic ones, so you may have to reapply them on your child after 2 hours or so. The same rule of thumb applies – do not apply them on babies below 2 months of age.
For all mosquito repellents, it is important to read the label and consult with your doctor on whether it is safe to use on a baby. Some repellents, such as permethrin, are effective repellents but cannot be applied directly on babies' skin (it is usually applied on clothes, sleeping bags and tents). Some repellents also have been known to be harmful to people with prolonged exposure to them. However, if you're applying them just for the occasional camping trip, they should be relatively safe. But check with your pediatrician just in case.
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