Unlike adults, you cannot use all mosquito repellents for babies. Continue reading to know which ones you can use, and which ones you cannot.
Mosquitoes are a nuisance to everyone. Getting rid of them is actually a daunting task. Most of us depend on commercial repellents for getting rid of this problem. But when it comes to babies, commercial repellents is not the answer. This is because they contain certain chemicals that can harm the sensitive skin of the baby. Also, babies tend to suck their hands and feet, which can cause serious health problems. So what can be done?
Well, there are certain insect repellents that can protect them from insect bites. But, that is for babies who are more than 2 months old. For those below 2 months, it is better not to use any kind of repellent. Instead dress it in long-sleeved clothes, and place a mosquito net over its crib. For the ones above two months, the following mentioned repellents can be used for prevention.
DEET is one of the basic components used in almost all mosquito repellents. It is a chemical, which is medically known as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide. It is said to be one of the best repellent as it can keep away mosquitoes for about three to eight hours, depending on the percent of DEET in it. The sprays which contain DEET are safe for babies. However, that does not mean you can use it as much as you want. It is not water soluble, so do not spray the solution every time the baby gets wet.
Secondly, DEET with only 10% concentration is safe for babies, so do not use products that contain more quantity than that. Also, spray the products only on the exposed body parts like the hands and legs, do not spray it near a cut or abrasion, and avoid spraying them on the back of the palms and mouth as babies tend to suck these parts.
Electronic repellents for babies which contain permethrin are safe. It is a common synthetic chemical which is found in almost every insect repellent. Products with permethrin will not only get rid of mosquitoes, but will also protect the baby form fleas and ticks. So, it is one of the best repellents if you have pets at your place. Permethrin should protect your baby from insect bites. However, one important thing to remember about them is that, it is never directly applied on the skin, and has to be applied only on clothes or nets.
» Essential Oils
As you must have observed, there are many restrictions on the use of DEET spray. So, instead you can make use of natural repellents like essential oils. Essential oils are not only safe, but also have a pleasant smell which does not irritate the baby. Some essential oils can also help to cure cold and cough. There are many essential oils like eucalyptus, citronella, cedar, lavender, and clove that can get rid of mosquitoes.
You can also make a homemade repellent with the help of these oils. Simply pour a little amount of any of the above mentioned oils in a clean spray-bottle, mix equal amount of water, and you are done! Essential oils are safe but are less effective than DEET sprays, so you will need to spray them again after a couple of hours. You can also spray them on the baby’s blanket and clothes, to keep away mosquitoes and other insects.
» Organic Repellents
You will find many organic repellents in the market that can be used for babies. Organic insect repellents do not contain any chemicals, not even DEET, so make sure the spray you are buying is truly organic. The ingredients commonly found in organic products are lemongrass oil, lemon, and peppermint oil. These are also available in the form of lotions, but you should avoid lotions as they can prove dangerous if ingested. While using a spray, do not spray on the fists and near the eyes. If you are using homemade organic repellent, dilute it before use.
Now that you know that only a few specific mosquito repellents can be used for babies. Make it a point to use only those. As stated earlier, do not use any of these products for children below the age of 2 months. You can make use of the natural products, or keep mosquito repellent plants in your house.