Non-Toxic Ways to Protect Baby From Insects◀ Back To Blog
July 22, 2013
Being able to spend more time outdoors is the highlight to my summer. However, when children, especially babies are outdoors there are pests which may bite, sting or be concerning to their health. Below are step to protect babies from insects:
1. Bug Shield the Carrier
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no insect repellents -- regardless of toxicity -- be used on newborns 2 months and younger. A bug shield draped over the carrier is not a perfect fix, but it will at least keep some of the worst disease carriers, like mosquitoes at bay during this perilous period.
2. The risk of various insect-borne illnesses varies from area to area, and different insect repellents work better on different bugs.
Check with the Environmental Working Group's new Guide to Kid-Safe Bug Repellents, to find an insect repellent to prevent Lyme (carried by ticks) or West Nile (carried by mosquitoes). Avoid overburdening baby's system with unnecessary chemicals, so finding an insect repellent with low toxicity AND meets your needs is important.
Not sure what the risks are in your area? Call your local health department or use this handy West Nile map from the CDC, and their Lyme Disease Map.
3. Don't Spray Insect Repellent on Baby's Face
It's not easy to keep a baby from opening his or her eyes or mouth while you're spraying insect repellent -- even the natural insect repellents considered safe. Don't risk it! If you must put it on the body, spray your hands with the repellent, then apply to their face.
4. Apply Bug Spray to Baby's Clothes
Worried about the chemicals on their skin? An even better bet is to spray their clothes INSTEAD of their skin. Make sure you apply heavier concentrations to openings -- neck hole, arm holes, etc.
5. Keep Baby's Skin Covered When Outdoors
Bugs love to land on open skin, but if you keep them mostly covered in long sleeves and pants -- with light fabrics so they're not sweltering -- it's much easier to keep the bugs away. It also makes it easier to simply spray a little repellent on the clothing.
6. Don't Reapply Bug Spray
Unlike sunscreens, you don't need to keep applying bug spray over and over. If anything, you should use it as sparingly as possible (read the directions of course) to avoid a real concentration on baby's skin.
7. Avoid Sunscreen With Insect Repellent Built In
Because sunscreen needs to be applied frequently to protect kids' skin, you risk exposing kids to too much DEET with these types of products -- even if there isn't that dangerous a level of the chemical in the product.
8. Avoid Buggy Areas
Avoiding pest prone areas is sometimes this is easier said than done, but there are some obvious places you shouldn't venture with baby, including: fields of high grass, pools of stagnant water, gardens with dense plants.
9. Give Baby a Bath After Trips Outside & Check for Ticks
Wash any insect repellent off your baby as soon as you can so it doesn't spend too much time on the skin. This is also the time to do a thorough tick check to remove any ticks before they have time to embed and transmit Lyme disease (that takes about 36 hours).
Babies have those delicious chubby legs that parents love ... and ticks love too. They're always looking for the warm, moist areas of the human body, and the folds in a chubby baby's skin are right up their alley. So check EVERYWHERE.
Child friendly pest control is important not only to you and your family, but to Thomas Pest Services and our family. If you find an insect problem, contact your local Clifton Park Pest Professional. Just as you preach safety to your children, Thomas Pest Services suggests avoiding do it yourself pest control to protect your safety and practice kid safe pest control. Leave your pest problems to the professionals so you can enjoy the outdoors with your children. Protecting your family is what matters most!