Summer Tips: Insect Repellent

Please Note: These guidelines are only for children who are fully vaccinated with no chronic medical illnesses. 

These guidelines provide general guidance and should not be used as a substitute for the individual advice provided over the phone or at an appointment. If you have any significant or ongoing concerns, please call the office.  Please contact Hirsch Pediatrics or go to the ER if your child is under 2 months old and has a fever (rectal temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit or 38 Celsius).

These guidelines are written for patients of Hirsch Pediatrics and may not be copied or used without the written permission of Dr. Hirsch.

Do you recommend using insect repellents to protect my baby from mosquitoes?

  • Yes! For babies 2 months and older we recommend using products with DEET. DEET has been tested and found to be very safe for young infants.
  • DEET is preferred over other “natural” remedies which are often less effective or have not been studied on young children.
  • When going for walks with a stroller you can use a mosquito net that covers the entire car seat and creates a physical barrier around your baby so you may not have to use a repellent.

How should I apply DEET insect repellents on my child? 

  • We recommend only applying DEET once per day and using the lower DEET concentrations of 10-30%. Higher DEET concentrations over 30% are not shown to be more effective.
  • Avoid applying it to the face and hands of young children and wash your child’s skin when you go inside.
  • Do not use insect repellents combined with sunscreen as this leads to overuse of insect repellents.

How do I manage mosquito and other bug bites?

  • Despite your best-efforts bug bites are inevitable!
  • While bug bites in children tend to swell up very quickly (especially around the eyes and ears) the bite will generally look much better in 2-3 days.
  • If the bite is itchy, you can give Children’s Benadryl (1 tsp or 5 ml for children over 25 pounds and 1/2 tsp or 2.5 ml for children between 12-24 pounds) and apply a cool compress as needed for comfort. You can also use any adult topical itch creams like cortisone ointment and/or aloe.
  • Please contact us if the swelling is not getting better after 2-3 days, if your child develops a fever, or you still have concerns.