Baby

Protect your baby from biting insects

When you enjoy hiking and evening strolls, you must learn to live with biting and stinging insects. Here are a few tips to protect your children.

By a lake, in the forest, in a cabin or even in your backyard, you see some of those insects that bite and sting. Although it is almost impossible to develop any kind of disease after being bitten, the rash it causes is enough to drive adults and children crazy. To avoid becoming a snack, here is a little list of insects and a few tips to protect your babies.

Mosquitoes

Extremely unpleasant, mosquitoes inject an anticoagulant in our skin before drinking a few drops of our blood. It is that anticoagulant that forms the horrible itchy bump that we know.

If mosquitoes can transmit serious diseases such as malaria and filariasis in some Asian and African countries, they are virtually harmless to us. The most anxious mothers could say that, even here, mosquitoes can transmit the West Nile Virus but you should know that the Public Health Agency of Canada says that "Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms or in mild cases, symptoms may resemble the flu."

It is still best to protect your children when the presence of the virus has been reported in your area. If cases are reported, take all necessary precautions to ensure that persons with a weakened immune system are never in contact with these infamous mosquitoes.

Also, even if they are benign, having several bites can highly irritate a baby or a young child. That is another good reason to protect your children.

Covering

Mosquito nets are the most effective measure against mosquitoes and other biting insects. At home, make sure your window screens are in good condition and teach children to shut the door behind them, even during the summer. You can also buy a net to place over your child’s bed to protect them from insects that would have made it in your house. Other nets are designed to protect your child when they are in a stroller. You will find those at Clément and in pharmacies. Others protect your child in their car seat, like this Mousticou.

Another good way to protect your child is to dress them appropriately; with loose-fitting clothes with long sleeves, long pants and a hat. Pick pale colours that won’t attract mosquitoes. Also avoid going out with your baby at dawn because that’s when mosquitoes are most active.

Creams

You should know that all products containing DEET shouldn’t be used on babies under six months old. Also, products containing 10% DEET should only be applied once a day for children between 6 months and 2 years old and three times per day for children aged 2 to 12 years.

Similarly, it is preferable not to use large amounts of essential oils on children under seven years old and you must remember that pure essential oils are too strong for the skin of a baby. However, a drop of citronella oil in a bit of almond oil is very effective in repelling mosquitoes for children over two years old.

For younger children, there are also citronella and lavender stickers that can be used at a very early age because they don’t touch the skin. Just place them on hats, vests, tops or pants and voila.

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