Wondering how to protect your baby from mosquitoes? Mosquitoes are incredibly annoying and pose health risks for adults, but for babies, these risks are amplified. Babies’ delicate skin and underdeveloped immune systems mean that for them, mosquitoes aren’t just a nuisance—they can be a nightmare.

In addition to dangerous mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and malaria, which can affect people of any age, infants are also vulnerable to Skeeter Syndrome. This syndrome is an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva that causes bites to swell significantly.

Image credit: César Rincón via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Image credit: César Rincón via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Parents have many reasons to protect little ones from mosquitoes this spring and summer. Here are our tips for keeping mosquitoes away from your baby.

How to protect babies from mosquito bites

Use protective clothing

A tried and true way to keep mosquitoes at bay is to wear loose, long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and pants. Keeping as much of your baby’s skin covered as possible will give the mosquitoes less surface area to land on and bite. The loose fit is important, since mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing. Also be sure your baby is wearing closed-toe shoes or socks. To prevent your baby from overheating, make sure the clothing is lightweight material—cotton is ideal—and don’t linger in hot weather for too long.

Choose an effective repellent approved for child’s age

Many parents have concerns about using mosquito repellent on babies. For babies younger than two months old, many sources say to not use repellent, especially if it contains DEET. For babies older than two months, it’s acceptable to use repellent, but look for low concentrations of DEET or other active chemicals. Follow CDC recommendations when choosing a repellent. If you’d prefer not to use a chemical-based repellent, look for a natural repellent that works for your baby, or make your own using essential oils.

Regardless of what type of repellent you use, be careful when applying it. Don’t spray directly onto your baby’s skin—instead, spray some on your fingers and then apply. Avoid the eyes, mouth, ears, and open wounds, plus don’t put repellent on your baby’s hands, to prevent ingestion.

Try screens or mosquito nets

Hopefully you don’t have problems with mosquitoes inside your home, but when you go outside, use a mosquito net over your baby’s carrier, stroller, or playpen. You can find a variety of options online, like this one by Dreambaby. Just be sure the netting mesh is small enough that mosquitoes can’t sneak through, and look for an elastic hem to hold the net in place.

Use fans where possible

If you’re staying in one place while you’re outdoors, like in your garden or on your patio, set up fans to circulate the air around your baby. Mosquitoes are not strong flyers, so the breeze created by fans can prevent the insects from buzzing near you and your little one.

Image credit: Matthew Routley via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Image credit: Matthew Routley via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Spray yourself

If you’re holding your baby close to you in a carrier or wrap, wearing insect repellent on your own body may help deter mosquitoes from your baby as well. Of course, this should be just one prong of your mosquito-defense plan.

Avoid peak hours

Whenever possible, try to stay indoors during peak feeding hours. Dawn and dusk are when many mosquito species are most active, so you’re more likely to get bitten during these windows.

Tackle mosquito populations in your backyard

Mosquito populations hanging around your home can make it unbearable to go outside, even with the above precautions. If you have a mosquito problem, it’s important to take care of it on a larger scale, instead of only relying on repellents or other preventative methods.

Be sure to remove standing water around your property to eliminate breeding grounds, and try adding mosquito-repelling plants to your garden. For effective mosquito control options that avoid smearing repellents on your body, contact DC Mosquito Squad to learn more about our barrier sprays. This treatment will keep mosquitoes away for up to 21 days.

Don’t let your baby be bitten up by mosquitoes! Fight the bite and keep baby and your entire family protected from these pesky pests all season long.

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