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Good Housekeeping: 13 Bug Sprays for Kids and Babies to Help Protect During Your Next Family Outing

Plus, everything you need to know about DEET, picaridin, and what's best for safeguarding against ticks and mosquitoes.

As a parent, you’ll do nearly anything to ensure your kids stay healthy. That might include bribing them to eat more veggies, negotiating an acceptable amount of screen time, and yes, making them wear bug repellent when they’re outside. Your first instinct may be to avoid certain chemicals and reach for a “natural” insect repellent, but the truth is, many ingredients in “natural” products aren’t very effective at repelling ticks and mosquitoes. A simple bug bite may not seem like a big deal, but the health risks of exposure to those two pests are high as both mosquitoes and ticks can carry an array of diseases.

When picking out an insect repellent for kids and babies, your priority should be to choose one that’s registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “EPA registration of skin-applied repellent products, including DEET, indicates that they have been evaluated and approved for human safety and effectiveness when applied according to instructions on the label,” says Robert Daguillard, a spokesperson for the EPA. “Our evaluation includes ensuring that the registered product does not harm vulnerable populations, including children and pregnant women.”

Here’s what you need to know about the most popular active ingredients in EPA-registered repellents.

Read the full guide form Kaitlyn Pirie on Good Housekeeping's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 9, 2022

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Good Housekeeping is an iconic brand with a pretty cool history. Get this: The very first print issue of GH came out in 1885. In it, the editor wrote that the brand's mission would be “about equal proportions of public duty and private interest." That still rings true today — with more than 1,200 editions under our belts, two decades of sharing daily tips and news online, and 137 years of testing behind every product we recommend.

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My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

MEDIA MENTIONS

Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere