Summer can be tricky for parents who prefer more natural products for their kids.
On the one hand, you need to protect children from dangers such as sunburn and bug bites. But on the other, sunscreens and bug sprays are full of chemicals that might make some parents wary. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use them, but if you're looking for alternatives, we've got you.
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One of the biggest deterrents in traditional bug spray is DEET, which children under six months of age shouldn't be exposed to, but older babies and children can use in smaller amounts, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) notes. While there's no evidence that DEET-free repellents are safer for kids, a lot of parents prefer them, CPS adds.
CPS also warns that natural repellents (such as those containing soybean oil, citronella oil, or PMD, also known as oil of eucalyptus) may not protect against ticks, and that citronella oil and oil of eucalyptus shouldn't be used on infants and toddlers.
But with those disclaimers out of the way, there are still plenty of more natural bug sprays you can buy, or even make yourself.
1. Citrobug mosquito repellent oil for kids
Contains lemon, camphor, geranium, eucalyptus and pine.
Get it at: Well.ca
2. OFF! Familycare Botanicals
Based on an ingredient found in the lemon eucalyptus plant.
Get it at: Walmart
3. Belly Buttons & Babies Outdoor Spray
Contains lavender floral water, lemongrass, lemon eucalyptus essential oil, peppermint essential oil, rosemary leaf extract.
Get it at: Terra 20
4. DIY lemon eucalyptus oil repellent
One part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel. Not for use on kids under age three.
Learn more: Healthline
5. Shield Me KidSafe by Plant Therapy
Contains essential oils of citronella, grapefruit pink, geranium bourbon, rosalina, and patchouli.
Get it at: Amazon.com
6. Five-minute essential oil bug spray recipe
To be used on clothing instead of directly on the skin (especially with children).
Get the instructions: Wellness Mama
7. Druide citronella insect repellent spray lotion
Contains essential oil of citronella and citronella terpene. Not for use on infants or toddlers.
Get it at: Well.ca
8. Natural tick repellent
Contains witch hazel, water, geranium bourbon essential oil or rose geranium essential oil.
Get the instructions: Green Moxie
9. Calidou Outdoor Solution Plein Air
Contains soya oil, andiroba oil and essential oils. Not for use on the skin of kids under age two.
Get it at: Amazon.ca
10. Babyganics natural insect repellent
Contains soybean oil, citronella oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, geranium oil.
Get it at: iHerb.
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