There’s nothing like having a family gathering or spending time outdoors then swatting bugs away and getting bitten. It can turn a fun-filled family event into a pesky situation. Know the facts about bug sprays and alternative options to make the best choice for your kids.
Types of Bug Sprays
There are three main types of bug sprays on the market today and they are one of the best ways to prevent bites. Deet, Picaridin, and Natural Bug Repellents are all readily available. Here’s what you need to know.
Both Deet and Picaridin based repellents are safe for use on children older than two months old. Picaridin is relatively new to the United States but has been used in Europe for over 10 years. Deet comes in varying strengths, but be aware that a higher percentage of Deet does not mean it is stronger – it only makes it last longer.
Both the Deet and Picaridin products are deemed safe for children older than two months by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Many parents choose to use all natural repellents, which are also an excellent option for warding off mosquitos and other pests.
Natural repellents are Deet-free and are generally made of all natural ingredients such as citronella, peppermint, cedarwood, and lemongrass. Depending on what type of repellent you choose, the period in which you will need to re-apply the product will differ.
Be sure to read the instructions carefully and pay attention to when it needs to be reapplied if you are outdoors longer than a single dose protects you for.
Bug Repellant Devices
There are also many devices that are made to wear or keep bugs out of a designated area. These devices generally require refills but allow you to stay bug-free without spraying your body and clothing. They have risen in popularity and are an excellent choice for protecting your immediate area without the sprays.
Using Bug Sprays on Kids
Always read the instructions before applying bug spray. Kids should never be allowed to spray themselves as some of them contain chemicals that should not get in their eyes and mouth. This also ensures they do not get repellant on their hands during application.
Never spray repellants around food and be aware that they do not normally protect against stings including bees, wasps, fire ants, or from other stinging insects. Always wash your hands after applying repellant to your children and ensure that older children that apply their own follow the same rule.