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What is the Best Mosquito Repellent for Babies, Toddlers, and Big Kids?

There are several options for the best mosquito repellent babies, toddlers, and kids that are safe and effective. The most effective include DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus as the active ingredient. But the age of your child and how you use the product to be will make a difference as to which you should buy.

Click here to see all the bug sprays for children for sale on Amazon now. Or keep reading for information from the CDC, AAP, EPA, and Consumer Reports.

Things to Know Before You Buy Insect Repellent for Babies, Toddlers, or Big Kids

When choosing any mosquito repellent for your child, read the label. It must state if there is an age restriction. If it does not say anything about age, then the “EPA has not required a restriction on the use of the product,” states the CDC. Any oil of lemon eucalyptus mosquito repellents are required to be labeled as not for use on babies or toddlers under the age of 3.

According to the CDC, the best mosquito repellents for anyone contains either DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus has also been shown in studies to work as well as products with low concentrations of DEET.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), DEET products with concentrations of 10% to 30% are safe for children and infants older than 2 months of age. The AAP has made no determination on the safety of picaridin as of 2013, although the CDC lists it as safe.

Keeping the recommendations of the CDC and AAP in mind, here is a list of mosquito repellents for kids that meet the recommendations and are top sellers because they work.

These are the Top Selling and Best Rated DEET and Picaridin Insect Repellents on Amazon:

Cutter Advanced Insect Repellent Cutter Advanced Insect Repellent

This has 7% picaridin as the active ingredient. It is a pump, so the spray does not become as aerosolized. Reviewers like that it does not harm clothing and does not smell.

 

Avon Skin So Soft Insect RepellentAvon Skin So Soft Insect Repellent

There are many fans of Avon’s Skin So Soft Insect Repellent line.  Avon makes several insect repellents that are safe for infants and children.

The picaridin based wipes are easy to pack and use and leaves you skin smelling nice rather than like a pesticide. But should not be used for children under the age of 3.

The same product also comes in a pump spray.

Cutter Skinsations Insect RepellentCutter Skinsations Insect Repellent

This is only a 7% concentration of DEET and includes aloe and vitamin E as ingredients for added skin care.

Cutter Backwoods 23 Percent

This pump spray is sweat and water-resistant and provides longer protection with the higher concentration of DEET.

Best insect repellent for children Top Selling Lemon Eucalyptus DEET-Free Mosquito Repellent

REPEL has a top selling oil of lemon eucalyptus insect repellent. It does work very well for several hours and has a more pleasant scent than DEET products.

Remember, lemon eucalyptus repellents are not approved for infants or children under age 3.

Consumer Reports Best Rated Insect Repellents

Off Deep Woods Sportsmen II was the highest rated insect repellent in a 2010 Consumer Reports test. It is a 30% DEET product and therefore OK to use on children per the AAP and CDC guidelines.

The other top 3 spots also went to DEET products.

See How Consumer Reports Tested Mosquito Repellents in this Video

How to Choose an Insect Repellent for Kids

In general, the higher the concentration of DEET, the longer it works. Natural oil products and picaridin work as well as low concentrations of DEET. If you are only going to be outside in the backyard for just a couple of hours, then a product that does not work very long is probably best. If you are camping, hiking, fishing, or otherwise spending several hours outside, then you might want to choose a longer acting product.

As always, use these products as directed and contact your child’s doctor should you have any questions on concerns.

Additional Information

These products will repel any insect. So they are good for any region with mosquitoes and ticks.

As for effectiveness, some may not see the same results as others, even when using the same product. There are many different species of mosquitoes, and some stay away from DEET, but may not mind picaridin. Also, different individuals seem to be better at attracting mosquitoes naturally. So you may need to try different products to find the best mosquito repellent for your kid.

 

*Top mosquito photo by Gamma Man, Flickr

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): West Nile Virus

Healthy Children: Insect Repellents

Consumer Reports: Best Insect Repellents

 

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