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Best Bug Sprays for Kids & Adults

Here's what you need to know about the best bug sprays for your entire family.

No, parents, DEET is not a dirty word. In fact, when it comes to bug sprays, it happens to be a highly effective ingredient in mosquito repellents, when used properly.

The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against using products with more than 30 percent DEET on children, period. And don’t use any insect repellents on kids younger than two months. A spray with 10 percent DEET provides about two hours’ of protection. And a product with 30 percent DEET gives you about five hours of protection. Choose the lowest concentration possible.


A few other common-sense and handy tips: Wear long-sleeved pants and shirts when you’re outdoors. Apply the bug spray to clothing or exposed skin only. Make sure you use any bug sprays outside so you don’t inhale them. More is not better, so use just enough to cover exposed skin. And once you’re done playing outdoors, wash your kid with soap and water to remove any repellent residue. And give yourself a rinse as well.

Here are some top bug spray and lotion options for you and your kid based on Consumer Reports data and user reviews — but remember, always check ingredients and do your own research based on your local bug population before determining what you’re most comfortable using. If you have any questions, talk to your pediatrician. And remember that yes, there are sprays that are billed as chemical-free, but none of them are as effective as those with DEET or other pesticides, and that’s a fact.

See the full article by Donna Freydkin on Fatherly's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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Fatherly

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Fatherly is the leading digital media brand for dads. Our mission is to empower men to raise great kids and lead more fulfilling adult lives. From original video series and deep-dive reports to podcasts and events, Fatherly offers original reporting, expert parenting advice, and hard-won insights into a challenging, but profoundly rewarding stage of life.

Fatherly is a for-profit media company and part of the Some Spider Studios family.

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