Buzz off! How to safely protect your baby from pesky bug bites

mom and child outside summer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  (WOTV) —  Protecting your little one from those pesky mosquitoes isn’t easy. Many bug sprays aren’t safe for kids, so what’s a mom to do?  I’ve scoured the web to find some of the best advice from sources across the country to help you keep the bugs at bay.

Tips for kids and bug spray

toddler camping generic

1.) Start with a kid friendly bug spray.

2.) Read the label.  Look at the active ingredients, the warnings and the instructions for application.

3.) Be aware of warnings.  According to the FDA,  “Insect repellents containing DEET should not be used on children under 2 months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under 3 years of age.”

4.) Apply it correctly. Be sure to avoid kids hands, around the eyes, and any open cuts or irritated skin.  Apply the product to your hands and then apply to the child.

5.) Do not allow children to handle insect repellents.

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6.) After returning indoors, wash your child’s treated skin or bathe the child. Clothes exposed to insect repellants should be washed with soap and water.

7.) Not sure how much DEET is ok?  Kidshealth.org breaks it down like this, “Choose a repellent with no more than 10% to 30% concentration of DEET (look for N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide on the label). Use lower concentrations if kids will be outside only for an hour or two. If they’re outside longer, consider using a repellent with a higher concentration of DEET. (The higher concentration means that it will last longer.)”

8.) Be cautious of sunscreens that contain bug sprays. This is because bug spray should not be applied more than once a day and sunscreen needs to be re-applied throughout your time outdoors.

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