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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles > Babies and Bug Repellent

Babies and Bug Repellent

Many parents may wonder if it is safe to use insect repellent on their babies. With all of the warnings about its use in the paper and on the news, some parents would actually rather have their children get bitten by bugs than to risk the harm that using insect repellent may bring. This idea, however, is not a good one. While some types and formulations of insect repellent can be harmful to your child, the dangerous diseases that children can catch from insect bites is far more common and worrisome.

So, while parents should definitely use some type of insect protection on their child, the problem actually lies in deciding what type of protection to use. The answer, of course, varies by age of your child and personal preference. Below is a list of tips and guidelines to use when choosing insect protection for your child.

• Dress your children in protective clothing. This tip is especially useful for parents of babies and toddlers. Since some bug sprays may contain chemicals that are harmful to your child, you may want avoid using them altogether. If that is the case, then it is necessary to dress your child in long sleeves and pants to limit the amount skin that is susceptible to bites.

• Dress your child in light colored clothing. Clothing that is white or tan in color has a tendency to repel insects. Darker colors, such as black, however, have a tendency to attract insects.

• Avoid using scented products. Do not bathe your baby or wash his or her hair with a scented soap or shampoo if you plan to be outdoors. The scents in these products attracts insects. Also, do not apply any scented lotions or sunscreens to your baby's skin if you are outside.

• Use an electronic bug repellent. Some parents swear by these devices claiming that they repel insects better than - or at least as well as - bug sprays. These devices, which emit a high-pitched sound, act to repel bugs by frightening them away with the noise and vibrations.

• Use a DEET-free insect repellent. While insect repellents that contain the chemical DEET or usually more effective at repelling bugs, the chemical can be harmful to your child in large doses. Products like Avon's Skin-So-Soft work gently to repel bugs without any harmful side effects.

• Use low concentration DEET products. Many manufacturers now make lower strength bug repellents that still contain DEET. Bug sprays with a DEET concentration of 6% or lower are usually deemed safe to use on children.

• If you want the protection of a full strength DEET product without the side effects from the chemical, consider spraying your child's clothing instead of their skin. This will protect your child's system from the harmful effects of the spray while offering maximum insect protection.

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