Is Bug Repellent Safe for Babies
It is normal to worry about any chemical that you're going to put on your baby's skin. Not only because they can be irritating to the skin, but also because there is some absorption that can occur.
Bug repellent should be safe and effective for your baby when used according to the directions on the product labels. It is not recommended to use on infants under two months of age, but beyond two months it is safe if used correctly and washed off with soap and water once the outdoor activity is over.
The safest way to apply bug repellent to your baby is to apply it to your own hands and then rub the product onto your baby's exposed skin. Then, wash your hands. It should be applied in a thin layer and only to healthy skin. Do not use repellants over cuts and wounds or inflamed areas of skin. It may also be applied to clothing, but not under the clothing. Do not use a spray as you run the risk of your baby inhaling it. Do not apply it to your baby's hands and face because you don't want it to end up in their mouth.
Most of the commercially available bug repellents contain 10 to 30% DEET. The higher the percentage, the longer they last. So, if you are going to be out longer than an hour or two, you probably need to find a product with between 24 and 30% DEET. Frequent reapplication of repellent is unnecessary.
How do I protect my baby younger than two months of age?
If you are a family that likes to go for walks in the evening when the mosquitoes are bad, it is recommended that you buy a bug net that fits over your baby's stroller. You can spray the DEET product on the net and then put it over the stroller.