Best Mosquito Repellent For Kids
Healthy Home and Home Safety Shopping Summer Ideas Beauty and Wellness Kids Home & Garden Products Ah, the joys of summer: pool days, outdoor adventures, ice cream and sunshine. One thing no one looks forward to though? Bug bites. The ticks and pesky moths that eat summer fun faster than ice-cream melts are a nuisance. To help protect your kids against these annoying buggers and get back to carefree outdoor living, we rounded up the best bug repellents recommended by our editors as well as health and safety tips from a pediatrician.
The main reason to repel mosquitoes is to lower the chance of getting infected by tick- or mosquito-borne diseases like Lyme, Rocky Mounted Spotted Fever, West Nile Virus, and Zika. “It’s great for kids and families to be outside to play and take hikes in the woods,” said Dr. Sophie Balk, Attending Pediatrician at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and member of the AAP Council on Environmental Health and Climate Control. Unfortunately, insect bites are not uncommon. An insect bite can transmit disease to humans, children and even adults. You can generally avoid serious illness by checking for ticks when you are outside and applying insect repellent appropriately.
These are the 10 best bug sprays for kids in 2021
Each of our editors tests, reviews, and makes recommendations about the top products. On purchases from the links we have chosen, commissions may be earned.
Mozzies and other insects are quick to feed on warm summer nights. While the bites can be painful enough for adults, little ones may find it unbearable. This is why you should always have a safe bug spray to use during the summer. When purchasing a bug spray for your family, take a peek at the ingredients to ensure you’re choosing one that you’re comfortable with.
There are many bug sprays on the market, but not all are equal. We’ve collected some of our favorites that can be used safely and effectively for children.
Get our top picks at a discount Amazon – Insect & Mosquito Repellent
It is easy to use, child-friendly and leaves a light citrus scent until fully dry.
This is the Best Baby and Kid Bug Spray
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The Great Outdoors can be a wonderful place to spend quality time with kids. But that’s only until the moths start playing. Parents don’t want their children to suffer from itchy bites. But if there is an outbreak of insect-related illness, bug spray can help. Parents consider bug spray an essential medicine. So what is the best bug spray that can be used on children or babies? Here’s what to know about baby-safe bug spray, plus our top picks for mosquito repellent for babies and kids.
What To Know About Deet Bug Spray
DEET is the common name for N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide. DEET was invented by the United States Army, 1946. This insect repellent is still the most popular in America and widely considered as being the most effective. DEET bug spray must be applied directly to the skin. DEET works by altering the neural circuits of their antennae and mouths. This forces insects, such as flies and chiggers, to fly away and back up.
DEET safety: There have been long-standing rumors that DEET could cause serious health problems for infants. However, much more research proved that DEET was safe for all ages, including babies aged 2 and over. CharlRee Slaughter, FAAP, is a Baltimore-based pediatrician. She founded CayTer 2 You Baby which provides baby gear for travel. “DEET has been well researched for human use and is safe and effective for anyone over 2 months of age.” Especially when you need to prevent insect-related diseases, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says DEET is the best bug spray for babies. Ticks can spread Lyme disease, and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile and Zika, among other viruses.
DEET bug spray can come in different concentrations. These range from 4 to 100%. AAP and CDC suggest that bug repellents be applied to children as young as 2 months. However, the effectiveness remains about the same in all concentrations. The duration of protection depends on how concentrated it is. A 10 percent DEET insect spray provides protection for approximately two hours, while a 30 percent DEET repellent protects for around five hours. Studies have found that repellents with higher than 30% DEET don’t offer additional protection. Choose the lowest possible concentration to provide the protection that you require. Some people may develop skin reactions from using excessive or high amounts of DEET. DEET bug Spray is safe for infants 2 to 6 months of age.
The Dos And Don’Ts Of Bug Spray
Figuring out which are the best baby-safe bug sprays is only half the battle the other half is learning how to properly and safely apply the insect repellent. The CDC has some top advice on how to apply bug spray safely and effectively for children.
Do not expose your baby’s skin to the sun.
DON’T use fragranced products such as scented laundry detergent or lotions, which can attract biting insects.
DO consider using a mosquito net over your stroller or infant carrier.
Babies under two months of age should not be exposed to insect repellents
DO use approved insect repellents for children. Please follow the instructions on the packaging.
Do not use combination sunscreens or insect repellent products. SlaughterAtiemo explains that DEET reduces the Sun Protection Factor (SPF), and can expose children to DEET. Sunscreen should always be applied frequently, so it is crucial not to use DEET.
13 Protective Bug Sprays for Babies and Kids to Help You Get Through Your Next Family Vacation
You can also learn everything about picaridin and DEET.
Your kids’ health is your responsibility as parents. Some of the things you might do are bribe them into eating more vegetables or allow them to screen less. You may also make them use bug repellent while they’re outdoors. While your instinct might be to stay away from certain chemicals and use a natural insect repellent instead, the reality is that many of the ingredients found in these products don’t repel mosquitoes or ticks as well. While a single bug bite might not seem to be a major problem, there are serious health consequences if you’re exposed to both ticks or mosquitoes.
If you are looking for an insect repellent that will work on children and babies, it is important to make sure the product has been registered with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Robert Daguillard (EPA spokesperson) states that EPA registrations of skin-applied repellents, such as DEET, indicate that the products have been approved and evaluated for safety and effectiveness. “We ensure the product is safe for vulnerable populations including pregnant women, children, and children.” This article explains the main active ingredients of EPA-registered repellents.
Oil of lemon eucalyptus: Of the four most common EPA-registered ingredients, oil of lemon eucalyptus is the only one derived from plants, but it’s worth noting that it can also be synthetically created in a lab and listed as “p-menthane-3,8-diol” or “PMD” on labels. According to Dana C. Price Ph.D. associate researcher in the entomology section at Rutgers State University, oil of lemon eucalyptus is safe for those older than two months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended products containing between 10% and 30 percent DEET. Price states, “The amount of protection you require should be considered. 10% will offer protection for up to two hours. 30% will last approximately five hours.” Consider your child’s requirements and choose the lowest possible concentration.
Picaridin: Picaridin is an ingredient that looks similar to black pepper extracts. Although Picaridin has not been extensively researched, it’s safe to use for children under 2 years old. However, you’ll want to read product labels carefully because some products are only recommended for children 6 months and older.
IR3535: This chemical ingredient is most often found in combo products that contain both insect repellent and sunscreen. Repellents by themselves are acceptable, but avoid repellents with sunscreen. Because sunscreens have to be reapplied frequently to repel insects and need to be protected from the sun more often, you shouldn’t over-apply repellents.
The bottom line: No matter what repellent you choose, the most important thing is to carefully follow the instructions on the label. Also, consider the formulation of the repellent you’re using. While lotions and wipes might be more easy to apply to younger children than sprays, it can take up to 20 minutes before they become effective. Sprays however work instantly. Joseph Conlon of the American Mosquito Control Association’s technical advisor says, “Parents shouldn’t allow their children to apply repellents themselves or to others.” According to the American Mosquito Control Alliance, adults should apply repellent using their own hands. Then, they need to rub repellent onto the child’s skin.
Here’s a list of the top mosquito repellents in 2021
1. Sawyer Premium Mosquito Repellent
Picaridin, the Sawyer’s favorite insect and tick repellent, can be used in spray, lotion and pump forms. At a concentration of 20% it is expected that Picaridin will protect against ticks as well as mosquitoes for around 8 hours. Sawyer says this product will last for 12 hours. However, we are going to go by existing research and say it should only take 8 hours. Sawyer has stated that this time is exactly the same as Sawyer’s instructions for reapplication. (Reapply after eight hours). That’s not to say it won’t work after 12 hours, but the effectiveness decreases considerably with time. It’s a fantastic tick and mosquito repellent that is suitable for children and adults over 6 years old. It doesn’t have strong odors and no DEET. Additionally, it is less greasy than DEET and effective in protecting against Zika, EEE and West Nile Virus mosquitoes. It also protects very well against biting flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies. It was very easy to use with both the pump spray and continuous sprayer versions. If you have the space to carry the larger sprayer bottle (it’s 6 ounces, but the size of a hairspray bottle), we highly recommend it. It was initially quite greasy but it soon became a soft, protective layer. Nearly no odor, which was a pleasant contrast to DEET and Lemon Eucalyptus.
It was worn for four hours on a hike in New England’s woods during June. This is a great time to catch ticks as well as mosquitoes. This was tested on two young children aged 6 and 8 years old. The result was that we didn’t get any bites. Also, we weren’t continually annoyed (and swatting) at) the buzzing insects. The protection it offered was excellent, and it could have been extended if you stayed up late into the night. We applied it to all skin exposed: necks, arms, legs and ankles. We applied it to our faces by spraying the product onto our hands. This will prevent us from inhaling or getting the oil into our eyes, especially with children. You can also spray it on your hair and clothing. The product worked flawlessly and was a huge hit with us all. The kids preferred the sprayer to the more ominous options. I was not worried about them getting ticks. My children slept peacefully the next night. The cost of the product is usually between $8-10. This depends on whether the pump, lotion, and sprayer are purchased (we highly prefer the sprayer). Interested? The Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent can be found here. Natrapel Mosquito Repellent.
Picaridin 20 percent is also available in this product. It has a similar effect to Sawyer. Picaridin 20 percent is very effective in repelling ticks and mosquitoes for approximately 8 hours. Like the Sawyer product, they claim 12 hours of protection, but we think 8 hours is more reasonable. In our testing, we found this product to be exactly as effective as the Sawyer product. This product was simple to spray with the non-aerosol continuous sprayer. It had excellent coverage and protection from a large number of insects. All the same ones as the Sawyer product, of course. It’s number 2 for two reasons. First, it’s a bit harder to find and purchase than the Sawyer products, and tends to drop off websites such as Amazon in the peak of the summer months when you need it most! Second, the sprayer isn’t as evenly-misting as the Sawyer sprayer, as it tends to have some clumping/drops that come out in addition to the mist. It’s a bit like spray-on sunscreen. It was third, we felt, too perfumed.
Picaridin, which has virtually no odors, is one of its advantages. It is also a pleasant departure from DEET. However, Picaridin was scented with a scent that we did not like and so did our kids. These are minor nitpicking issues that make this the best insect repellent for children. It is also extremely easy and effective. Overall, this is an excellent insect repellent that will protect you and your kids for several hours in even the densest swamps! To apply it, use the same method as with Sawyer. We put it on our exposed skin, including arms, legs and ankles. We applied it to our faces first by rubbing it into our skin with our hands. The product also worked well on hair and clothing. You can usually get a 6 ounce sprayer for $8. Interested? The Natrapel Insect Repellent can be found here. REPEL Insect & Mosquito Repellent.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (naturally-derived oil from lemon eucalyptus) is a natural insect repellent approved by the CDC for repelling mosquitoes. This repellent can also be used to reduce the chance of you contracting an illness. It contains 30% pmenthane-diol (30% from lemon Eucalyptus citriodora oils) and is non-toxic. This repellent works well both against mosquitoes and ticks. We found the scent to be very strong during our tests. It wasn’t bad to smell like DEET but it was strong enough to be recognizable as a lemon scent. This repellent is a better option than DEET. We like the strong lemon smell. REPEL states that the repellent is completely free from a number of potential allergens. You should not use it close to a flame source such as a grill or campfire. Although it claims to repel mosquitoes for eight hours, our tests showed that it actually works well.
In our opinion, just about as well as a 15% DEET product. This repellent didn’t work as well for us as Picaridin-based ones like Natrapel and Sawyer. However, this was only tested on mosquitoes. For children 3 years and over, it is an excellent choice if you are looking for a DEET-free repellent that will not harm mosquitoes. Interested? Check out REPEL’s Lemon-Eucalyptus Mosquito Repellent here. Avon Skin-so-Soft Mosquito Repellent.
Safety and effectiveness concerns
Safety. Picaridin and DEET are best for tick protection. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus may be an alternative, although it is less effective. EWG/CDC report that each ingredient has a slightly unique safety profile. We consider each of them in turn, below. With any bug repellent, we suggest always washing it off before bedtime, and never using it for several days in a row. Bug spray ingredients can cause adverse reactions. If you keep it on your skin for a long time, they will absorb more into your body. It is easy to see why even top-quality baby lotions have side effects.
DEET Safety. This ingredient, which has been effective against ticks and mosquitoes for more than 60-years, is safe. But DEET also has a bad reputation, stemming from 1980’s reports of severe side effects (encephalopathy) in children exposed to DEET. These illnesses are not linked to DEET, but there isn’t any evidence. Furthermore, recent research shows that DEET can cause no serious adverse reactions if used as directed. Remember to use DEET as directed. Follow the directions when using any insect spray and don’t apply more than recommended. DEET has been recommended as the number one insect repellent by doctors for those who travel to areas prone to tick- and mosquito-borne illness. DEET is not recommended for use in infants under 6 months of age. Use of DEET products with a concentration between 20-30% is advised for areas at high risk. The recommendation for 2-12 year olds is to apply a 20-30% DEET oil product. There should be no more than three applications per day. A product that contains 30-50% DEET is an acceptable upper limit for teenagers, adults and those who are not able to follow the instructions.
Picaridin Safety. Bayer created this synthetic compound in 1980. The product was widely used throughout Europe and Australia. However, it has only been introduced in the US in 2005. DEET is often referred to as the “less smelly” and most effective DEET substitute for protection of children against mosquitoes. Picaridin is very safe and has low levels of toxicology in both children and adults. Picaridin tends to be less irritating than DEET and is therefore a viable option for allergy sufferers. For children aged 6 and over, it is not recommended to be used.
IR3535 Safety. It is another synthetic compound that Merck created in the 1980s. It is a synthetic amino acid which affects insects’ sense of taste, and can make them more likely to recognize you for a delicious meal. Picaridin, which is relatively less smelly than DEET and virtually odorless makes it more appealing. Like Picaridin’s safety profile, IR3535 has a great reputation. The World Health Organization discovered only mild irritation of the eyes (avoid getting it into your eyes), and no long-term effects on people or the environment. It is less commonly than Picaridin, DEET and can be found most frequently in Avon Skin-So-Soft bug sprays and lotions.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus Safety. This naturally-derived alternative mosquito and tick repellent has received a lot of recent attention, and is one of the four active repellents recommended by the CDC. Lemon Eucalyptus oils are extracted from the eucalyptus and then refined to improve the content of a certain chemical (PMD). This is great for repelling both ticks, and mosquitoes. The CDC recommends that children younger than 3 years of age not use Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or synthetic PMD as a repellent because they are still relatively new on the market. Safety data is also very scarce. The reason is not that any evidence is available to prove it is toxic. It is simply because no evidence has been found. As such, we recommend that young children avoid using it until further data is available. Also, natural Lemon Eucalyptus Oil may not be the same as Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus in terms of safety or efficacy. Some sprays even combine these two ingredients.
Effectiveness. Safety. Parents also expect the most effective repellants for mosquitoes to work well on their children. The question is hard because it’s difficult to compare the effectiveness and effectiveness of natural bug sprays against the effectiveness of any four CDC approved repellents (DEET/Picardin, IR353535 or Lemon Eucalyptus Oil). Problem is, the majority of research on bug sprays and their effectiveness has been sponsored by companies that make them. This makes it hard to assess the true effectiveness without conflicting interests or bias. Picaridin and IR353535 are next effective. Oil of Eucalyptus is moderately effective. DEET seems to be effective against both mosquitoes and ticks. Use the insect spray/lotion on exposed skin only. These instructions will ensure that the spray is effective and reduces irritation. Below is a list of the effectiveness of various insect repellents.
DEET Effectiveness. DEET is the best insect repellent available. DEET has an inverse relationship to its effectiveness at repelling insects and ticks. A repellent with a higher percentage will also be more effective in keeping them away for longer periods of time. A repellent with 10% DEET will be effective for 2 hours. Every additional 5% of DEET provides an extra hour. For example, 15% DEET products are effective for approximately 3 hours. 25% DEET products last for around 5 hours. The maximum DEET recommended for adults is 30%. It works for approximately 6 hours.
How do I stop mosquitoes from getting into my children’s eyes?
Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Oil Picaridin-based insect repellents like this one are also recommended as safe for use by the CDC/EPA. They can be used on children to prevent bites from ticks and mosquitoes.
Which Mosquito Repeller is Most Effective?
- Repel Insect Repellent Mosquito Wipes 30% DEET.
- Natrapel Wipes.
- Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535 Expedition SPF 30 Pump Spray.
- Kinfield Golden Hour Bug Repellent.
- Summit Mosquito Bits.
- Shoo For Good The Camellia Lightweight Wrap in Cloud.
.Best Mosquito Repellent For Kids