Mosquitoes seem to bug everyone and everywhere but more so during the monsoons. You might draw curtains, close the windows but you will still find one or two flying around and waiting to bite your baby. So, you stock up your safe mosquito repellents to protect your little ones from mosquito-borne diseases like Malaria, Chikungunya, Dengue, and more.
Can babies use mosquito repellent?
Mosquito repellents can be many forms. They can be in forms of sprays and creams so you can slather them onto your baby. However, it needs to be natural and safe for baby’s use. There are many mosquito repellents available in the market that have harmful chemicals like DEET which can do more harm than good in the long run. So, it is advisable to not use mosquito repellents on babies below 6 months, not even the DEET-free ones. You can, however, find other ways to protect your little one from mosquitoes and prevent mosquito bites:
- Avoid taking your baby out during dusk when the mosquitoes seem to be most active.
- Dress your baby in light coloured, long-sleeved cotton clothes to cover their arms. If weather permits then cover your baby’s feet with socks
- Younger babies can be dressed in onesies or bodysuits that cover as much of their body. Dark colours tend to attract mosquitoes so dress your baby in light colour clothes.
- Keep your home and the surroundings clean. Get rid of stagnant water and cover any open drains that serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Put mosquito nets on doors and windows to prevent the mosquitoes from entering your home.
- Avoid keeping empty pots, jars, cans, vessels and tyres outdoors as they can collect rainwater and create a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Cover your baby’s bed with a mosquito net. If you are taking your baby out in a pram or stroller then cover it with a mosquito net as well.
- Floral and fruity smells attract mosquitoes however certain scents such as lemongrass, citronella and neem are known to ward off mosquitoes and you can use their essential oils at home.
- Wherever possible, choose fragrance-free baby care products for your baby as synthetic fragrances can attract mosquitoes.
What kind of mosquito repellent is safe for babies?
Taking these precautions might save up the trouble for applying mosquito repellents on babies less than 6 months. But, you can always use them for babies older than that for better protection against mosquito bites. Like we said, most of the mosquito repellent creams or sprays available in the market have DEET in them. This core ingredient repels the mosquitoes and provides protection. However, the thin delicate skin of babies should be kept away from products containing DEET. You must find natural mosquito repellent that is both safe and gentle on the skin. Body sprays, creams and lotions might have ingredients that can naturally repel mosquitoes and keep them at bay.
Here is a list of some mosquito-repelling ingredients that can be made available naturally, in a range of natural baby care products.
- Citronella Oil- An essential oil, is known to provide protection against various diseases causing mosquitoes. It is also used as an effective Antifungal agent.
- Soybean Oil- Specially the 2% soybean oil available in many products can provide protection for longer hours and is packed with powerful antioxidants.
- Lemongrass Oil- Due to high Citral and Geraniol content, this oil is effective in repealing various mosquitoes and flies.
- Eucalyptus Oil- This naturally extracted oil has many abilities- antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal and thus an efficient mosquito-repeller.
These oils when used separately might not prove to be efficient. So, we advise you to find a product with the goodness of such oils to naturally tackle the mosquito bites. The Moms Co.’s Natural Mosquito Repellent is a powerful combination of 5 natural oils which provides protection up to 4 hours. It is DEET-free and is made up of natural and safe ingredients. It doesn’t use Alcohol or any harsh synthetic compounds or chemicals that can irritate the sensitive skin of the babies and cause health complications. The goodness of special oils and 100% plant based ingredients make this mosquito repellent all the more special- can be used both indoor and outdoor.
Mosquito-repellent sprays, however, need to be applied to babies with care. It is recommended to spray it on your hands first and then apply it gently on the baby’s skin before you are taking them out. Do a patch test before applying to ensure your little one isn’t allergic or irritated by the spray. Avoid applying the spray content directly on their face and also wounds or cuts, if any. This might further irritate skin and cause problems for the baby. It is advisable to reapply it every 3 hours to ensure your baby’s skin is protected against mosquitoes.
In case your baby gets bitten by mosquitoes, use an ice cube or apply wet cloth to the bite to stop it from itching. Knowing the symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases is just as important as taking precautions so that you can catch an illness early on and prevent it from becoming worse. Wherever possible, keep your baby protected and use a natural mosquito repellent to ward off those pesky mosquitoes.