Zika has been all over the news and it isn’t the only health risk associated with mosquito bites so it is important to protect our little ones as much we can.
Here are a few simple tips to follow:
- Dress your child in loose clothing that covers arms and legs (mosquitos can bite through fabric).
- Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
- Aedes mosquitos who carry the Zika virus have an appetite for feet, so shoes with full coverage (not sandals) and socks are optimal.
Using mosquito repellent
- The most effective active ingredients against mosquitos are: DEET, eucalyptus, picaridin, or IR 3535. Choose mosquito repellents with those active ingredients for optimum results.
- Bug spray should be applied after sunscreen (otherwise, your SPF may mask it).
- Spray outdoors (as opposed to enclosed areas, to avoid inhalation).
- Apply repellents only to exposed skin and clothing, including feet and ankles— never put it on under clothing.
- Use just enough to cover and only for as long as needed; heavy doses don’t work better.
- Don’t let young children apply. Instead, spray repellent on your hands before rubbing it onto skin. Avoid children’s eyes and mouth, potential cuts or wounds, and use the spray sparingly around the ears.
- Follow the product’s instructions for re-application. Bug spray typically doesn’t need to be reapplied as often as sunscreen.
- Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old, instead, protect them in a carrier with mosquito netting
- Don’t use near food, and wash hands after application and before eating or drinking.
- At the end of the day, wash treated skin with soap and water, and wash treated clothing
Note that natural products are not necessarily safer to use on young children and babies. Some essential oils (ex: lemongrass and eucalyptus) have not been thoroughly tested on young children.
To read the Indonesian translation, click here