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When can I put bug repellent on my baby?

When can I put bug repellent on my baby? Is DEET safe?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it's safe to use bug repellent on children as young as 2 months, including products with up to 30 percent DEET. However, even though the AAP considers these products safe, they still contain strong chemicals, so you should take the following precautions when using them, especially on kids:
• Read labels carefully and follow all directions and precautions.
• Spray repellents in open areas to avoid breathing them in.
• Don't spray bug repellents directly on your child's face. Spritz them on your hands and then rub onto your child's skin and clothes. Avoid the eyes and mouth.
• Don't use bug spray on broken, irritated, or inflamed skin.
• Don't use products containing DEET more than once a day.
Alternatively, you can also use picaridin-containing products (a DEET alternative) on infants and young children. You can also place insect netting over a stroller or car seat of an infant. Oil of eucalyptus is not recommended for kids under age 3.

Copyright 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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