I don’t know what it is like where you live, but the bugs up here in Maine the bugs are not to be reckoned with. We trade in our winter coats and boots for sunscreen and bug repellent. We start off with the black flies in mid to late spring, then the mosquitos kick in along with the no see ums, gnats, and mingies. The ladder three may actually be the same bug, I am no entimologist. I call them the invisible little buggers. We also have ticks and limes disease to be watchful of. All of the biting insects makes going outside a bit daunting when you have a baby, and with kids it is more than annoying.
There are not a whole lot of options for insect repellents that really work and do not contain DEET. DEET is a common pesticide in insect repellents, but it it does have known side effects including seizure and brian poisoning. Swallowing DEET can be fatal. Coma, seizures and low blood pressure occur within an hour of ingestion. Rashes, hives, blisters, skin and mucous membrane irritation and numb or burning lips tend to be more prevalent with DEET concentrations of 50 to 75 per cent or when used in excessive amounts. There is no evidence that it causes cancer or birth defects. Prolonged use and failure to wash off DEET can increase your risk of side effects. -DEET Repellents Must Be Used With Care by Dr. Barry Dworkin.
I have tried many DEET free insect repellants, and none work as well as a I can’t be bothered bug lotion by Garden Dreams. All three of my kids have sensitive skin and I try to avoid all chemicals on their skin. I am an herbal mama all the way when it comes to my kids skin.
Once the bite has occured, my kids have severe reactions. We are talking golf ball size swelling. We have even experienced hives. The first thing I grab for soothing bad bug bites is Hyland’s Bug Bite Ointment . I can’t stop my kids from scratching the bites, so it is important to me that I apply something that may potentially make its way into their mouths.
So here’s to the bug season. Some bug bites are not a bad thing. You do want your child’s natural immunities to build up so that as they get older their reactions get weaker and weaker. Good luck to all.
Thanks for the great information. I agree, when it comes to DEET I don’t want to risk using it on my children. I’m not sure if you have heard of Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE). It is approved by the EPA and Center for Disease Control as the only plant based product proven to repel insects that carry things like West Nile. In fact, it is proven to work as well as DEET, so I plan to try it on my family this summer (once the latest snow fall melts that is!) Repel and Cutter both make an OLE product; so far I have found it on-line, at REI and at Target. I also know they sell it at my local climbing store in Hanover (NH). You should give it a try.
Thanks for the info! I will try it too.