5 important factors to consider while choosing a mosquito repellent for kids

When you go outdoors with your children, what are some things you always pack? Water bottles? Sunscreen? Do you also remember to pack a child-safe mosquito repellent?

Spending time outdoors with the kids is a big priority for most parents these days. Sunshine, fresh air, and being in contact with nature are shown to boost cognitive capabilities in children. But the outdoors also expose your precious little ones to mosquito bites.

With the recent dengue spike in Singapore, finding an effective but safe mosquito repellent is a big worry for parents. Conventional mosquito repellents contain DEET, an insect repellent. While most medical practitioners claim DEET is safe for use on children, there have been several reports of severe skin irritation, rashes, and in rare cases, even seizures. Better to play safe than sorry, skip the DEET mosquito repellent and opt for a natural, safe for children mosquito repellent alternative made from essential oils.

How To Choose a Mosquito Repellent

5 important factors

Choosing the right mosquito repellent can be a daunting choice, especially with the conflicting information available online. The biggest questions I get asked are whether to choose a DEET-based mosquito repellent or an essential oils-based mosquito repellent.

 To help you choose the right mosquito repellent for your children, here are important factors you need to consider:

  • Age of your kids
  • Pets at home
  • How long you will be outside
  • Ingredients in the mosquito repellent you choose
  • Type of clothes you wear

1. Age of your kids

DEET-based mosquito repellents might not be suitable for children under the age of five, especially as it has risks of inducing skin rashes and severe irritation. Additionally, DEET is toxic when ingested, and young children may accidentally ingest some when they put their hands in their mouth.

 Instead, opt for an essential oil-based mosquito repellent. Our recommendation is to use Ollieโ€™s Mosquito Spray. Using 10 essential oils that are renowned for their insect repellent and skin-soothing properties, this spray is ideal for families with kids and pets. This is specifically formulated keeping in mind the safety of children and effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes. Ollieโ€™s mosquito spray uses powerful mosquito-repelling essential oils such as Lemon Eucalyptus, Cedarwood oil, Peppermint oil, and Citronella oil to name a few. Keep dengue at bay with a mosquito repellent spray made from natural, plant-based ingredients that are gentle on your skin, smell great, and are safe for your family.

2. Pets at Home

DEET is not pet-safe, so if you have pets at home you cannot use DEET products around them as they can cause seizures and even death. Mosquito repellent made from essential oils on the other hand, in small doses, are pet-safe even if your cat or dog may not like the smell. Obviously, you cannot use mosquito spray on your pets, but it wonโ€™t harm them if you use it on yourself and then interact with your pets. Frolic in the sun with your pets without worrying about mosquito bites (or accidentally poisoning your pets) with Ollieโ€™s Mosquito Repellent Spray! 

3. How long you will be outside

Sprays containing 10% DEET (the usual concentration for most repellents) last around 6 hours on the skin and 24 hours in the body. The longer something lasts in your body, the increased likelihood of you developing adverse reactions to it down the line.

If you are out for shorter periods of time, choose an essential oil-based mosquito repellent, so you wonโ€™t have any nasty chemicals lingering on your skin or clothes and potentially contaminating other things you come into contact with.

 There are some reports suggesting that the amount of DEET absorbed into the body may increase when treated skin is covered with clothing and alcohol or sunscreen is also applied to the skin. If you are outdoors for a long period of time, you run the risk of absorbing a greater amount of DEET into your body. Yuck!

4. Ingredients in the mosquito repellent you choose

DEET, as mentioned earlier, is a synthetic insect repellent chemical. If you are not keen on exposing your children to this chemical, you might be safer sticking to plant-based insect repellents. These are just as effective as a DEET-based mozzie repellent. Mosquito repellents made from essential oils contain ingredients such as Citronellal, Citronellol, and PMD (para-menthane-3,8-diol). These are shown to be as effective as DEET in repelling mosquitoes. The best essential oils which have mosquito-repelling properties are Lemon Eucalyptus Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and Himalayan Lavender Oil. Just mix 7-8 drops of essential oil to 1.5 Tbsp witch hazel and spray on exposed areas. Alternatively, you could use Ollieโ€™s Mosquito Repellent Spray which combines multiple mosquito and insect repelling essential oils and gives you maximum protection from mosquitos (and other pesky insects).

5. Type of Clothes You Wear

What do you normally wear outdoors? Waterproof, sweat-wicking, breathable fabrics? Did you know DEET degrades and destroys clothing made from synthetic fibres? You cannot use DEET if you are using clothing made with synthetics, like nylon and waterproof/breathable membranes, or plastics. Even a small amount of DEET dissolves these materials and pretty soon you could end up with clothes that have mysterious holes in them. Unlike DEET, essential oil-based mosquito repellents do not harm clothing. You can use a mosquito repellent made from essential oils on clothing, under clothing, and with any type of fabric without worrying about adverse reactions!

Choose the right mosquito repellents for your family


There is no greater mood-booster than being outdoors with your family, frolicking in the sun. Donโ€™t let pesky mosquitoes get in the way of quality bonding time. Keep your mosquito repellent at hand always and be assured that your family is protected. DEET-based mosquito repellents, while effective, come with several health concerns and might especially not be suitable for young children or families with pets. On the other hand, essential oil-based mosquito repellents are often as effective as DEET-based repellents when used right, with none of the scary side effects. As mentioned earlier, DEET repellents are not pet safe or clothes safe, and have mixed results on children. Donโ€™t take chances on your precious family and instead opt for a tried-and-tested, pet-friendly, and child-safe mosquito repellent. Get yours now from our online shop!

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