Mosquitoes are most active in hot and humid climates, which makes it no surprise why we’re always on alert for them here in the Philippines. The hot summer season is when mosquitoes thrive most, but the rainy weather also poses some risks for us because puddles that form can become mosquito nesting grounds!
And as we all know, mosquitoes are blood-sucking creatures and there are instances where they even carry diseases like dengue. For some reason, they also love biting babies and toddlers! But when bites do occur, don’t be too hard on yourselves, Mom and Dad. The good news is that we can always arm ourselves with information so we can prevent mosquito bites as much as we can. Here are some simple ways that will help you protect your kids from those pesky mosquitoes!
Mosquito repellents are proven to be the most effective product for preventing mosquito bites. A chemical called DEET is the most widely used ingredient in repellents and it has been utilized for decades. There’s no need to be afraid of DEET, Mom and Dad, because 30% of this ingredient in repellents is safe for kids older than two months. The way DEET works is that it disrupts the mosquito’s antenna and repels it from landing on your baby’s (and your) skin! Just be sure to carefully read and follow instructions on the product labels to ensure proper application. You need only to apply a thin layer, if you’re using cream or lotion repellents, on exposed areas of skin but never the hands. We’re no strangers to babies putting their hands in their mouths, so it’s best to keep their palms and fingers repellent-free.
If you prefer chemical-free repellents, oil of lemon eucalyptus is recommended because it is also effective in repelling mosquitoes. For both natural and chemical repellents, you may need to reapply them every few hours or so because there is a time limit to their effectivity. So, be sure to check the label!
The good ‘ol kulambo will always be safe and reliable. Mosquito repellents are not recommended for babies younger than two months, so the best option would be using mosquito nets instead. A mosquito net poses no harm to your baby’s health. You just simply put it over their crib or bed. You can even use a larger net over your own bed if your baby sleeps beside you. It would also be best to place mesh screens over windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering. You can also consider using air conditioning, especially when your baby is asleep, so you can keep your windows closed.
Since mosquitoes love to feast on skin, you’d want to lessen exposed areas as much as possible. You can dress your baby in lightweight long-sleeve shirts, socks, and pants. Loose-fitting clothes are also more helpful in preventing mosquito bites than tight fitting garments. This also gives you a reason to dress your baby up in adorable onesies and jumpsuits!
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water like puddles or water left in buckets. So, make sure to clean these vessels that may collect water such as buckets, toys, tires, pools, flowerpots and the like. Always check your surroundings for any stagnant water forming and clean them out immediately to prevent attracting and breeding mosquitoes!
Mosquito bites usually appear as red, itchy bumps. The itchiness is definitely uncomfortable for babies and toddlers, but a simple remedy is to wash the bitten area with warm water and soap. If you feel that the mosquito bite is a cause for concern and you’re noticing allergic reactions or symptoms like fever, please consult your doctor. Otherwise, though we can’t completely avoid those pesky mosquitoes, we can always do our best to protect ourselves and the kids as much as we can with these simple tips.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Preventing Mosquito Bites. 7 December 2020.
BabyCenter India Medical Advisory Board. Seven Simple Ways to Protect Your Baby from Mosquitoes. June 2020.
BabyCenter India. How Safe are Chemical Repellents for Children?
Stephens, Carissa. How to Treat a Mosquito Bite on Your Baby. 26 April 2021.