Is DEET safe for children?
The only thing worse than seeing your kids itch and scratch at mozzie bites is knowing that every bite is a gamble. This summer has been a bumper season for Ross River virus carrying mozzies here in Australia so it is incredibly important to make sure your little ones are protected as best as possible. Your most effective line of defence is going to be an insect repellent, but is DEET safe for children if you’re needing to re-apply throughout the day? And what else can you do to protect your kids from being bitten?
What can you do to protect your kids from mosquito bites?
There are a few things you should do to ensure you and your kids are protected against the mozzies.
- Wear long sleeved, loose fitting clothing
- Avoid going outside during prime mozzie times such as dusk and dawn
- Apply (and re-apply) a mosquito repellent
A mosquito repellent is going to be one of your most effective lines of defence against the mosquitoes, especially given how difficult it can be to keep long sleeves on your little one in the middle of summer!
For that reason, it is important to choose a repellent that is not only gentle and safe enough to use on children, but is also effective at repelling disease-carrying mosquitoes.
What types of insect repellents for kids are available in Australia?
There are three main types of products available in Australia that have been registered with the APVMA and are approved for sale as an insect repellent and application on children:
- DEET-based repellents
- Picaridin repellents
- Botanical repellents
DEET-based repellents are the most common commercially available repellents, however, picaridin repellents are growing in popularity because they are less sticky and do not melt plastics in the same way that DEET does.
Is DEET safe for children?
The Victorian Government advises that DEET and Picaridin repellents should not be sprayed onto the skin of children under the age of one. Additionally, you should only choose a product that contains less than 10% DEET or Picaridin and use it sparingly. Unfortunately for parents of mozzie magnet kids, DEET repellents should not be applied daily for extended periods of time.
So what do you do if your kids attract mozzies like they’re going out of fashion? Well, a botanical repellent could be a more appropriate option.
How to choose a good botanical repellent that is safe for children
Most botanical repellents use essential oils as their active ingredient. Essential oils are extremely volatile (evaporate quickly), especially citronella, which is one of the most common botanical repellents. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to need to reapply a botanical repellent more frequently, especially if it’s in the form of a spray.
One way to choose a longer lasting product is to look for a product that contains fixatives. Some common natural fixatives include beeswax and shea butter - but these aren’t exactly conducive to spraying! This is the exact reason why Good Riddance Insect Repellents are a cream. The cream helps to hold the essential oil actives onto your skin longer than a spray.
The other thing you need to look for is an APVMA registration number on the packaging. This ensures that the safety and efficacy of the product has been thoroughly tested and that it is approved for sale in Australia as an insect repellent.
But take caution when using a natural repellent on your children
Citronella, which is extremely common as an active ingredient in natural repellents, is a fairly harsh essential oil and can occasionally be irritating to sensitive skin. It shouldn’t be used on children under the age of two. Always patch test new products on your children before applying them to be safe.
So what is a safe, DEET-Free repellent choice for your little ones if you’re living in a mozzie prone area?
Good Riddance Sensitive Insect Repellent was designed to be used daily on babies, during pregnancy and on sensitive skin. The unique formula is DEET and citronella free, instead using lavender as one of its main active ingredients. The nourishing cream base helps to hold the essential oils onto your skin for longer while being easy to apply onto kids and babies (no more coughing and crying when they breath in the spray).
The safe, natural formula is perfect as an everyday repellent against mosquitoes, midges and sandflies, including the varieties of mozzies that carry diseases such as Ross River and Dengue. We’re so confident you’ll love it that it’s covered by a money-back guarantee!