Check the label before you spray insect repellent on your kids this summer, and you may find that many insect repellents marketed for families and children contain DEET. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics has approved the use of DEET on children, the Academy recommends only applying these products once a day, and not on children younger than 2. So here’s our list of less toxic bug repellents:
- REPEL is a plant-based lemon eucalyptus insect repellent, available from Basegear in 4-ounce bottles for $7. This solution repels mosquitoes and deer ticks for up to six hours, according to its label. REPEL has a very strong lemon scent; and it needs to be carefully applied to the face to avoid eye irritation.
- Bite Blocker is another good repellent which does not contain DEET. Bite Blocker’s herbal insect repellent spray, which works for up to 8 hours, contains soybean oil, geranium oil, coconut oil and vanillin, among other ingredients. Bite Blocker wipes contain that same repellent, and are safe for all ages.
- Burt’s Bees Insect Repellent contains eucalyptus and lemongrass oil (Burt’s Bees is well-known for their natural, child-friendly products). REI sells this repellent in spray form for $8. Avon has been very successful with their Skin So Soft Bug Guard line, some combined with sunscreen, that are meant for the whole family.
- The Avon Skin So Soft bug guard plus disappearing color sunscreen lotion ($12) is a clever way to protect kids from bugs and the sun. It comes out of the tube blue, but the color fades once rubbed into the skin. That blue color makes it more fun to put on, a useful thing if your child is cranky about putting on lotions. There’s also a Bug Guard Plus regular version, which is white.
Another argument in favor of natural repellents: Applying DEET in combination with sunscreen increases the possibility of DEET having toxic effects on the child. So save DEET for applications on clothes when mosquitoes are likely to be thick, and try natural products for spraying on skin.
Copyright © 2008 | Distributed by Noofangle Media