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What Is a Safe Way To Protect Babies From Mosquitoes?

Members of the Moms Council point out that some chemical protections should not be used on infants.

is made of of moms throughout the community from all different walks of life. Each week, the moms tackle a different question posed by readers of Tewksbury Patch on issues of life, family and motherhood. This week, the moms tackle the issue of safe protection for infants against mosquitoes.

The Question

This is my six month-old's first summer. My husband and I enjoy outdoor activities and are looking forward to sharing these with our daughter. I know how to myself protected from mosquitoes when we go on a hike but I'm a little concerned about using something high-strength on her. What is the best recommendation for bug repellent for infants?

The Answers

Michelle Sorrentino -- When my kids were that small, I found that it was best not to use products with Deet in them but a good replacement is a bug spray with Picaridin. I know that Avon sells a bug spray that contains a 30SPF as well as bug repellent and theirs has this product in it. Skintastic also makes a spray that is listed as "family" type and it has Picaridin in it as well. It works just as good and it doesn't smell too bad either!

Lisa Broderick -- I can't remember what i used exactly, but it was recommended to use a bug repellent without Deet. They make lotions and sprays without, I know Whole Foods had a good selection. I also found this good website with tips and suggestions, 
Http://pediatrics.about.com/od/summersafety/a/0707_insect_rep.htm. Have fun this summer!

Maureen Castiglione -- When my kids were that little, I used repellent wipes on their clothes (they're like a fabric sheet you can wipe directly on their clothes), never directly on their skin.  I would suggest checking with your pediatrician as well.

Lisa Spinelli-White -- I use an organic, kinda pricey, all-natural bug spray from California Baby. It works fairly well, but I wouldn't go camping near a swamp with it on or anything...

Linda Rowe -- From what I have read, the best products to repell insects are those that contain deet or picaridin. Pediatricians recommend waiting until a child is at least 2 months old before using any products and applying the product to their clothing and not their skin. Lemon eucaplyptus also will work to repell insects, but shouldnt be used on children under the age of 3. Repellents reach maximum effectiveness at 30% so there is no need for even an adult to use a product that exceeds that level. DEET and picaridin aren't water-soluble, so they shouldnt be used more than once a day. Also, dont use a product that contains sunscreen and bug spray in one. Sunscreen should be applied regularily and more than just once. Never put anything on your baby's hands, as babies put their hands in their mouth.

Jennifer Lentini -- I really like Avon's line of Skin So Soft Bug Guard (spray and wipes) and OFF! also makes a Family Care line as well.  Another thing that I use when the kids would be in the stroller is an insect net that covered the entire opening.  If you do have any questions or concerns about any products, don't hesitate to call the Pediatrician.

If you have a question for the Mom's Council, email it to williamg@patch.com

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