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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

October 29, 2023

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Effective against a wide range of insects: Sawyer Permethrin is known to be effective against mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects.

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Sawyer Products SP5432 Picaridin insect repellent spray is also very small and compact. You can easily take this insect repellent anywhere you want. This makes it an ideal option for any traveler and adventurer who wants to have a safe journey.

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Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.

Madison Flager and Meaghan Kenny