Inside: Protecting your kids from pesky mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes are my most unfavorite part of summer. I love the sun, the water, and the outdoors, but the pesky dots with legs that fly and bite? Not so much. Here’s how to protect your kids from mosquito bites.
I won’t tell you to only put white clothes on your child, to rub citrus juice on her skin, or to plant special plants to attract dragonflies so they can eat all the mosquitoes, although there are reports that all these things may work. Here are also other practical things you can do to protect your kids from mosquito bites.
- Avoid being around standing water. That’s where mosquitoes breed, and you want to be far away from their happy place. In your yard, empty the buckets or old flower pots, and let them find another home. If you’re in another place, like a park, stay far away from standing water.
- Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn. That’s when mosquitoes are most active. This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
- If you’re lounging on the porch, turn the patio fan on. If you don’t have one, bring an upright fan outside and enjoy the breeze. This will be a pleasant addition to the hot summer day and it will blow away the hungry little pests.
- Put long sleeve shirts and pants on your children. Although this might not be the best solution for the summer heat, this can work in cooler climates or in the fall, when it’s not so hot, but the mosquitoes are still out hunting for yummy people.
- If you have a baby, put a net over the stroller. We’ve used one, and it worked great, as long as it covers all the openings around the stroller.
- Burn a citronella candle. Citronella works by masking the scents that attract mosquitoes.
Sometimes all these precautions are still not enough, and an insect repellent will need to come into the picture to help you battle the pesky flying dots. Before I had kids and knew better, I’ve used the chemical bug sprays, and although some worked, the smell was awful.
Now that I have a little army of people of my own, I use natural repellents. Here is a list of great options for you to pick from:
- California Baby Natural Bug Blend
- Babyganics Natural Bug Spray
- Babyganics Insect Wipes
- Wrist Bands
- Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard
- Essential oils
We went to an impromptu fishing trip recently, and as we were leaving the house, I remembered about the bug repellent. I couldn’t find our favorite California Baby bug spray, but I remembered I had a big bottle of Avon’s Skin So Soft body oil. Although I’ve never tried their Skin So Soft Bug Guard, I heard great things about it and decided to see if the body oil works as well. After all, it was this or nothing else. I quickly poured it into a small bottle and ran to the car full of excited kids.
I applied the oil to all the kids, my husband, and myself as soon as we got to the lake, and I’m happy to report that I left the lake that evening without a single bite. My kids didn’t complain of mosquito bites either.
I’m no expert on essential oils, but I hear great things about them. The best part is that they’re natural and if used correctly, should not have any negative effects. Some bug repelling oils include:
Essential oils are very potent and should never be applied directly on your child’s skin unless you’ve done your homework. Some oils cannot be used on children at all. According to the Herbal Academy, lemongrass and clove oils should not be used on children under 2, peppermint oil should not be used on children under 6, and eucalyptus oil should not be used on children under 10. The Herbal Academy has plenty of information about oils for you to review before you start using them on your kids or on yourself. Some oils cannot be used during pregnancy, so make sure you read up on the do’s and don’ts.
If your child complains of mosquito bites, wash the affected area with soap and water and apply ice. If the itch is very uncomfortable, make a paste with baking soda and water, apply to bites, let sit for 10 minutes, and rinse off. Follow with your favorite anti-itch lotion.
Here are other bite remedies you can try.
- Apple cider vinegar – dab directly on the bite
- Banana peel – rub the inside of the peel on the bite
- Raw onion – put a slice on the bite and hold for a few minutes
Keep your child’s attention on something other than the bites. The more she itches the bites, the itchier they will get. If the area is not touched for a few minutes, the itch will subside. Dance with her to divert her attention from the bites.
Some people are simply more delicious to mosquitoes than others. Any time I’m standing outside next to my brother, he gets all the bites and I get none. That’s great for me, but not so great for him. Even though you or your child may be most scrumptious to mosquitoes, remember how to protect your kids from mosquito bites, take steps to prevent the little flying beasts from biting, and enjoy the outdoors.