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Are natural bug repellants safe for babies over 2 months old?

ANSWER

Neither the natural repellent oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) nor its lab-made version called PMD is safe for kids under 3 years old.

Other repellents made with plant essential oils, such as citronella, cedar, and soybean, can sometimes work. They aren't as long-lasting, though, and they can irritate your baby's skin.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child," "2015 Summer Safety Tips."

CDC: "Insect Repellents Help Prevent Malaria and Other Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes," "West Nile Virus Fact Sheet," "Avoid Insect Bites," "Guidelines for DEET Insect Repellent Use," "Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods."

Environmental Protection Agency: "DEET."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on April 10, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child," "2015 Summer Safety Tips."

CDC: "Insect Repellents Help Prevent Malaria and Other Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes," "West Nile Virus Fact Sheet," "Avoid Insect Bites," "Guidelines for DEET Insect Repellent Use," "Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods."

Environmental Protection Agency: "DEET."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on April 10, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How should you apply bug repellent on your baby?

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