As you take your baby out more as he gets older, insect bites can become a problem. Fortunately, it is indeed considered safe to use insect repellents on infants age two months and older to prevent bites from mosquitos and other insects.
Avoiding Insect BitesIn addition to using insect repellents, you can also take many steps to avoid insect bites. These protective measures include:
- dressing your baby in thin, loose-fitting, long-sleeve clothing that doesn't include bright colors
- avoiding spending time outdoors during evening to early morning hours (dusk to dawn), which when mosquitoes bite the most
- avoiding scented soaps and other things that might attract mosquitoes
- using a bug screen over your baby's stroller
- controlling mosquitoes and other insects around your home
Using Insect Repellents SafelyMost experts agree that an insect repellent with the chemical DEET is the best protection against mosquito bites and other insects. Keep in mind that insect repellents with higher DEET concentrations aren't necessarily stronger than those with lesser concentrations. They simply last longer.
Although insect repellents with DEET work great and are thought to be safe to use on children, many parents still prefer DEET-free insect repellents, such as Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Insect Repellent, and those with picaridin or citronella oil. Keep in mind that products with oil of lemon eucalyptus (such as OFF! Botanicals) should not be used on children under age three.
To be safe, it is also a good idea to:
- avoid reapplying insect repellents more than once a day
- do not apply insect repellents under clothing, on a baby's hands, near their mouth or eyes, or over cuts and irritated skin
- wash off insect repellents with soap and water once you bring your baby inside