With spring in full swing and summer right around the corner, it means families are spending more time outside. The warmer weather means more exposed arms and legs than have been seen in months. When this happens, it means that it is also time for the mosquitos and other biting insects to come out in full force. And because of this, parents want to know when it is safe to use insect repellent on their babies.
No one wants to get bitten by insects when enjoying their time in the warm sunshine. For many people, unfortunately, it is a part of life if they do not use bug spray. But when those people are infants, it can be hard to determine if they are old enough to use the insect repellent, given that their skin is not only sensitive but capable of absorbing chemicals into the system. And this can mean that babies who are eligible to use insect repellent are missing out on the opportunity to do so.
Here is when it is safe to use insect repellent on babies.
Age When Baby Can Use Insect Repellent
Just like with sunscreen, there is an age when it is appropriate to put insect repellent on babies. And for some parents, it may be earlier than anticipated.
According to BabyCenter, babies can first have insect repellent applied when they are two months old. However, it should be noted, per the publication that there are only certain ingredients and chemicals that are appropriate to use at this age.
As such, per the publication, if they are not registered with the Environmental Protection Agency or the Centers for Disease Control, there have not been studies completed on the insect repellents as to which ones are appropriate for young babies to be used. And because of it, they should be avoided.
Safe Ingredients To Look For In Insect Repellent
When looking for the safe ingredients in insect repellents that are age-appropriate for the two-month-old crowd up to three years old, there are just a few to select from.
Those chemicals that have been deemed safe in insect repellents for young babies, according to the KidsHealth includes:
- DEET: The concentration of DEET should not be more than 30 percent to be considered safe for babies to use.
- Picardin: A synthetic chemical, according to the National Pesticide Information Centerthat resembles the black pepper plant.
According to the KidsHealth, oil of lemon is known to repel insects. However, it is not recommended for use on those under the age of three.
How To Effectively Apply Insect Repellant To Baby
When applying insect repellent to babies there are certain things that parents need to remember when trying to keep their infants from being bitten by bugs.
According to What To Expectsome things to remember include:
- Spray insect repellent in a well-ventilated space
- Never apply DEET under clothing but on the skin and on top of clothing only
- Keep insect repellent away from open cuts
- Never spray directly on the face
- Keep the spray out of the direction of the eyes, mouth, and nose
- Before coming in for the day, remove the clothing worn that has been spray to keep insect repellent from transferring to surfaces inside
- Parents and babies should wash their hands after applying insect repellent as well as when coming indoors
When these tips are remembered, babies and adults alike can enjoy time outdoors without getting bug bites that can ruin a day of spring or summer fun.
Source: BabyCenter, KidsHealth, National Pesticide Information Center, What To Expect