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Q&A: Is DEET okay for baby?

I'm confused about the safety of DEET. I know that I'm supposed to be getting a bug spray repellant that contains DEET for my 5 month old, but I thought that was the chemical that in the past we've been trying to avoid. Are there any known risks to using DEET on infants? -- mrshutch

Re: I'm confused about the safety of DEET. I know that I'm supposed to be getting a bug spray repellant that contains DEET for my 5 month old, but I thought that was the chemical that in the past we've been trying to avoid. Are there any known risks to using DEET on infants? -- mrshutch

The Bump Expert

DEET has been used safely for many, many years and it works well to prevent insect-borne diseases.  In fact this long safety track record is why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends DEET for infants over 2 months of age.  Of course it would be nice to avoid all chemicals but you have to remember that insects also carry some very serious diseases. (Encephalitis, Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Malaria -- just to name a few!)

That said, the AAP offers some simple guidelines to minimize exposure:

> DEET should not be used in a product that combines the repellent with a sunscreen. Sunscreens often are applied repeatedly because they can be washed off. DEET is not water-soluble and will last up to 8 hours. Repeated application may increase the potential toxic effects of DEET.

> Apply DEET sparingly on exposed skin; do not use under clothing.

> Do not use DEET on the hands of young children; avoid applying to areas around the eyes and mouth.

> Do not use DEET over cuts, wounds or irritated skin. Wash treated skin with soap and water after returning indoors; wash treated clothing.

> Avoid spraying in enclosed areas; do not use DEET near food.

There are some newer insecticides on the market but as of now they do not have to safety and efficacy track record of DEET.  For this reason I do believe DEET is actually the safest way to go and enjoy the outdoors.

Dr. Vicki Papadeas

re: Q: Is DEET OK For Baby?

this is hilarious. you say it's safe and then in the same breath you give all of these guidelines for minimizing the potential toxic effects.whatever. i don't put DEET on ME and i am sure not going to put it on an infant!

readytobedone |

re: Q: Is DEET OK For Baby?

As a pharmaceutical chemist, I agree with what Dr. Papadeas is saying: the risks of using DEET have been clinically proven to be low (not non-existant) for infants, and the risks of the serious diseases from a bite are worth doing something about. That being said, I decided I did not want to use DEET for my baby and I looked high and low for an alternative to DEET that was safe for infants and proven effective. There wasn't one. There were a few things that seemed to work in early studies but in later studies were shown to be no better than nothing. There were some products that haven't really been thoroughly tested to see if the initial claims bear out. After much research I ended up buying one of these: "Bite Blocker Xtreme" an all-natural DEET free waterproof insect repellant made of soybean and geranium oils. You have to reapply often (every 3.5 hours) and keep out of eyes and mouth. So far, so good....

wakeham |

Q&A: Is DEET okay for baby?

I am an Environmental Scientist and choose not to put DEET on me and I certainly wouldn't put it on my baby. Knowing that DEET melts plastic is a real deterrent for me. I use a natural forest spray and a forest lotion stick for me and my baby that work perfectly at keeping those bugs off. You can order online and have it shipped to your house anywhere in the USA and Canada. Why spray all those chemicals on you when there are healthy natural alternatives that work equally well? https://www.onlygreen.com/canada/shop/browse/healthandbeauty/bodycare/outdoors Or just check out www.onlygreenlifestyles.com. I don't want chemicals bioaccumulating in my body and being passed on to my baby when I breast feed.

kathryan |

Q&A: Is DEET okay for baby?

I just wrote a blog article on this. I wanted to know this answer, too, and I concluded that I WILL NOT use DEET on my kids or myself. Here's what I found: [url=http://thewholelifeblog.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/what-the-deet-safely-repelling-mosquitos-part-i/]"What the DEET? : Safely Repelling Mosquitoes"[/url]

sg102800 |

Q&A: Is DEET okay for baby?

And there actually are three chemicals other than DEET recommended by the Center for Disease Control for effective tick and mosquito repelling. These don't have the known health risks associated with them that DEET does. Part II of my article covers one of these DEET alternatives (and it's also all natural!) plus another effective, organic DEET alternative. I site all my sources, so check them out yourself. :) What the DEET? Natural Alternatives That Work : Safely Repelling Mosquitoes (Part II) http://thewholelifeblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/what-the-deet-natural-alternatives-that-work-safely-repelling-mosquitoes-part-ii/

sg102800 |

Q&A: Is DEET okay for baby?

If you want more information about a bug spray repellant you could talk to someone from terminixpestcontroloffers.com. I'm sure that someone there could offer you professional advice about the DEET substance. Good luck!!

PowerFlowerPower |

Q&A: Is DEET okay for baby?

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tareelolo |

Q&A: Is DEET okay for baby?

If you are nervous about DEET given the kind of two sided responses you are getting, I have recently found an all natural perfume/bug spray combo I am using right now during my pregnancy that so far has been 100% effective. It's called aromaflage, here is the website for more info: http://mikeyandmomo.myshopify.com/

CarolineIlona |

Q&A: Is DEET okay for baby?

You shouldn't use DEET. Some of the toxic chemicals might not be good for baby health. There are various other ways to prevent mosquito bites. Give them a try and you might not even have to use chemical sprays.

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Q&A: Is DEET okay for baby?

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