Home > Kids > Childhood Safety > First Aid > Safest Bug Sprays for Your Kids: Protect Against West Nile and More
|

Safest Bug Sprays for Your Kids: Protect Against West Nile and More

When purchasing insect repellent, look for the one of the following ingredients:

DEET (Chemical Name: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diethly-3-methyl-benzamide)

Pros:

  • Considered by the EPA as the most effective, broad-spectrum repellent against mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Concentrations of 10 to 30 percent are approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as safe for children over two months of age when used according to the directions on the label.
  • Long lasting. Higher concentrations can last up to 8 hours.
Cons:
  • "Conventional" repellent. Not derived from natural ingredients.
  • Chemical can be toxic when absorbed by the skin at concentrations higher than 50 percent.
  • Odor may be unpleasant to some.
  • Can damage some synthetic and plastic materials.

Picaridin (Chemical Name: 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester)

Pros:

  • Offers similar protection to that of DEET, according to the EPA.
  • Long lasting. Higher concentrations can last up to 8 hours.
  • Odor isn't as strong as products containing DEET.
  • Causes no adverse effects on plastic and synthetic materials.
Cons:
  • "Conventional" repellent. Not derived from natural ingredients.
  • Not labeled for use against ticks.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD, which is the synthesized version of oil of eucalyptus.

Pros:

  • "Biopesticide" derived from natural ingredients.
  • Long lasting. Some products protect for up to 6 hours.
Cons:
  • Should not be used on children under 3 years of age.
  • Some products may not protect against ticks.

IR3535 (Chemical Name: 3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester)

Pros:

  • "Biopesticide" derived from natural ingredients.
Cons:
  • Strong eye irritant. Label recommends adults apply spray to children under 10 years of age.
  • Low protection time ranging from 0 to 3 hours.


|


highlights

Zika Virus Q&A: 4 Facts for Pregnant Women & Families
Zika virus is pretty scary. Pregnant or not, learn what steps to take to protect your family from Zika, including travel restrictions and mosquito bite prevention.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

Ommm! 5 Meditation & Mindfulness Activities for Families
Family meditation and mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and promote health and happiness. Learn some fun and easy mindfulness activities for kids, and set them on the path to inner peace!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks