Important Information Regarding Insect Repellents

Good News! The American Academy of Pediatrics states that the more natural alternatives to DEET (specifically 2% Soybean oil and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus) are safe alternatives in infants as young as 2 months. The determination was not based on safety testing, instead it was based on the maturity of a baby’s skin at this age i.e. one should still use caution when using these substances and use them in a limited fashion.

Insect Repellant/Concentration Use
Products with 5% DEET(N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) Effective for periods of approx. 2 hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) state that this is safe for children >/= 2 months. The Canadian Paediatric Society advises against the use of DEET under 6 months of age and states children aged 6 months to 2 years should be limited to one application per day.
Products with 10% DEET Effective for periods of approx. 3 hours. As above.
Products with 24% DEET Effective for periods of approx. 5 hours. The AAP states that 30% DEET is the maximum concentration currently recommended for infants and children. The Canadian Pediatric Society advises that a concentration of DEET over 10% be used only in children >/= 12yrs old.
Picaridin 5-10% Effective for periods of time comparable to DEET. The AAP states that this is now safe for children >/= 2 months.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus This has not been tested against mosquitoes that spread malaria and some other diseases which occur internationally. Effective for periods of time comparable to lower concentrations of DEET. The AAP states that this is now safe for children >/= 2 months.
Products with 2% soybean oil Effective for periods of time comparable to lower concentrations of DEET. The AAP states that this is now safe for children >/= 2 months. .

It is recommended that children should not apply to repellents themselves and instead a parent or responsible adult should apply the repellent.

· Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label). Do not use repellents under clothing.
· Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
· Do not apply to eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around ears. When using sprays, do not spray directly on face – spray on hands first and then apply to face.
· Do not allow children to handle the product. When using on children, apply to your own hands first and then put it on the child. Do not apply to children’s hands.
· Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. Heavy application and saturation generally are unnecessary for effectiveness.
· After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water or bathe. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly in a day or on consecutive days. Also, wash treated clothing before wearing it again. (This precaution may vary with different repellents – check the product label.)
· If a child develops a rash or other apparent allergic reaction from an insect repellent, stop using the repellent, wash it off with mild soap and water and call a local poison control center for further guidance.