Summer's Here! How to protect your kids against mosquitos

Hi everyone!

This is Winnie taking over again this week. Welcome to summer, my favorite time of the year! School’s out, it’s hot, the pools are open, and there are so many activities to enjoy out of doors. But, there’s one thing I do hate about the summer: MOSQUITOS! Mosquitos and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate them, but they love me… that is, they love to bite me and my kids. So it’s important for me to make sure we’re all protected when we go out to play. With young skin at stake, we parents are dying to know what mosquito repellents should they buy? Which one is the most effective? Are they safe? Can infants use them? Do I need DEET? And what are some natural alternatives? Read on for the results of our research.


The Best Mosquito Repellent for Kids

As with anything involving children, there are differing opinions on what is safe. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when used as directed, insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Two of the most effective ingredients are DEET and Picaridin. Mosquito repellants, however, are not recommended for babies younger than two months.

Outsmart Mosquitos: Tips for Babies and Children 

  • Dress in clothing that covers arms and legs, avoiding bright colors or flowery prints. Dress your baby in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses.  

  • Don't use scented soaps, perfumes, or hair spray on your child. 

  • Stay in the shade as much as possible. Provide shade for your baby with an umbrella or pop-up tent.

  • Cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.

DEET vs Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

  • Studies show oil of lemon eucalyptus to be comparable to DEET. However, “pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus, such as essential oil, is not the same thing and should not be used on children younger than three years old. The CDC recommends oil of lemon eucalyptus formulated for repellants.   

  • The current AAP and CDC recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. Neither DEET nor Lemon Eucalyptus Oil should be used on babies younger than two months.

  • Do not apply repellant directly to your children’s face. Spray into your hands first before applying. 

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DEET Repellants 

  • Off! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent 

  • Ben's 30% DEET Insect Repellent Spray 

  • Coleman 25% DEET Dry Formula Insect Repellent 

Picaridin Repellants 

  • Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion 

  • Natrapel Picaridin Insect Repellent 

Natural Repellants/ DEET-Free Repellants 

  • Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent 

  • Murphy's Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent 

  • Babyganics Natural DEET-Free Insect Repellent (Citronella-based and recommended for only a short period of time. Citronella does not have staying power. It may work initially, but studies show that it stops working within an hour or less.)

That's it for this week! Like what you're reading? Help keep the computer screen on by following us on Facebook or Instagram and signing up for our weekly emails at And as always, check our website for events and our easy-to-navigate chart of every weekly kids library program in Westchester. Just be sure to check the date you wish to attend against the library's calendar, because many programs are off for the summer. 

See you next time!