Whether you want to take your kids out on a hike or simply spend the evening outdoors with your family, mosquitoes, ticks, and even flies can drive you back indoors in a hurry. Mosquitoes and ticks both carry dangerous diseases, and the bites themselves are itchy and uncomfortable, so you certainly don’t want to expose your small children to them.
So what about using an insect repellent? Most insect repellents contain DEET and Picaridin, which is safe for babies over the age of two months, but a lot of parents aren’t comfortable using harsh chemicals on their children’s sensitive skin. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can repel and prevent mosquito bites, and our Raleigh preschool is going to share some of the best options for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers!
Applying Insect Repellents To Children and Babies
Many natural insect and mosquito repellents contain plant-based ingredients, such as essential oils, to keep the critters away. No matter what kind you use on your child’s skin, you want to follow these guidelines:
- Spray it onto your hands, then rub into your child’s skin
- Always spray or apply outdoors, away from food and drinks
- Avoid getting this in eyes or too close to the mouth and nose
- Wash hands immediately after applying
- Pay attention to how often the label says you need to reapply.
- Avoid using a sunscreen/insect repellent combo as sunscreen often needs to be reapplied more often than bug repellent.
Natural Mosquito Repellents That are Safe for Babies and Children
If you want to pick up a store-bought natural mosquito spray, the following options are great for small children and contain no DEET or picaridin:
- Babyganics Natural DEET-Free Insect Repellent is a skin-soothing insect repellent that can be applied every 90 minutes on babies over six months old and contains citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, and geranium.
- California Baby Natural Bug Blend Bug Repellent Spray is safe for babies age six months and up and has a soft fragrance that comes from natural citronella and lemongrass essential oils. Because it’s not strong, it’s safe to apply every 30 minutes, making it a good option when your babies won’t be outside for a long time, and it works against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and flies.
- Badger Balm Anti-Bug Balm has a natural base of castor and olive oils with citronella, cedar, lemongrass, and rosemary oils that naturally repel biting insects and mosquitoes. The whole family can use it, and it’s available in spray, stick, and balm options.
Protecting Babies Under Six Months from Insects and Mosquitoes
If you have a baby under the age of six months, talk to your pediatrician about using any of the above options on his or her delicate skin. Some essential oils are too strong for babies, and your pediatrician may recommend a different option.
Additional Ways To Avoid and Prevent Mosquitoes
With mosquitoes and other insects being so prevalent in Raleigh and the surrounding areas, there are plenty of other ways you can prevent your small children from getting painful bug bites.
Around the Yard
Keep mosquitoes and other insects away from your yard by taking the following actions:
- Hang citronella plants around your yard
- Make sure there’s no standing water in your yard – Empty bird baths, buckets, and other things that can hold standing water, cover water tables and kiddie pools when not in use, and if you have low areas in your yard where standing water pools, consider leveling the area a bit.
- Because you don’t want citronella candles near where the children are playing, try the Thermacell Radius Mosquito Repellent that gives off an odorless, mess free insect repellent and is safe, simple and portable.
On the Go
When you’re taking the children for a walk or you’re going on a picnic, if you’d rather not use topical insect repellent, you can try these options:
- “Bug Off Bands”are bands infused with citronella and other natural repellents that you can wear as a bracelet or even hang on your child’s stroller or baby carrier (like an Ergo, Tula, or sling-style wrap) to keep mosquitoes and flies away.
- Muslin blankets for newborns are thin and cool but bugs can’t bite through them, keeping your baby safe.
- Don’t use scented lotions as some scents attract insects and mosquitoes.
Our Raleigh Preschool Wishes You a Safe, Bug-Free Summer!
You don’t have to keep your kids indoors all summer to avoid being mosquito snacks, nor do you need to reach for commercial chemicals you may not be comfortable with. There are several great options for natural insect safety, and when in doubt, talk to your pediatrician!
Reach out to us today to learn more about our Raleigh preschool or to schedule a tour. Call our North Hills Drive location at 919-785-0303 or our Spring Forest location at 919-790-6888, or fill out our convenient contact form to get started!