Did you know that the most common active ingredient in insect repellent is the pesticide DEET? Although effective at repelling mosquitoes, it can also be harmful to our health and the health of our children.
DEET is toxic to the human nervous system and (in rare cases) can cause seizures or slurred speech. Though poisoning is rare, the vast majority of those cases involve young children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using bug repellent formulations with 30% or less DEET on children.
DEET Free Bug Repellent Options
Mosquitoes are most active around sunset, so try to encourage your children’s outdoor playtime in the early afternoon. If however, your family will be enjoying the outdoors in the evening, like for a backyard cook out, dress the kids and yourself in light long sleeve shirts and linen pants. The fabric will help cover your skin and add extra protection from bug bites.
Another natural option to deter mosquitoes is to use a large outdoor fan. An outdoor fan will help blow the pesky insects away. Plus everyone loves a cool breeze on hot summer nights!
Healthy Summer Activities for Kids
Primary Beginnings child care centers in Raleigh have fun and interactive summer camps for preschoolers up to 5th grade. Check out our summer camp activities or request a tour of one of the child care centers near you!