How to Apply Mosquito Repellent Safely


To learn about different products on the market, go to Mosquito Repellent Products (Insecticides).

Article updated on July, 2023.

How can you apply mosquito repellent safely? Always read the product instructions and respect the application periods.

For a 6-12-month-old baby:

  • Products that contain DEET should have concentration levels equal to or lower than 10%. Icaridin 20% and lower can also be safely used. Depending on the concentration, they can protect from 3-10 hours.
  • You can do a tolerance test on your baby by applying the insecticide on their forearm and wait 24 hours to see if they react to it. This will tell you if you can use it on their skin. 
  • Since swimming is an ideal time to get bitten, you have to reapply the product after, as it disappears on contact with water. 
  • Don’t apply the repellent near their eyes or mouth or on their hands.
  • Never use a mosquito repellent combined with sunscreen or lotion. Apply the sunscreen first and let it penetrate the skin. Wait 30 minutes, then apply the repellent. Sunscreen can be applied more generously than insect repellent.
  • Only use the product on the skin that is exposed and not protected by clothing.
  • Never apply repellant on irritated, cut or scratched or sunburned skin.
  • If the product is in contact with their eyes, rinse immediately with cold water.
  • After exposure, wash your skin and the baby’s with soapy water and rinse.
  • Never let your child apply the insect repellent himself.

How can you recognise a bite?

Photo - Maringouin : Utiliser un chasse-moustiques pour les bébés, femmes enceintes et femmes qui allaitent

Usually, an insect bite or sting is clinically seen by:

  • Slight redness at the bite location
  • Irritation
  • Small bump
  • The person might say the spot tingles or is itchy

The symptoms will go away on their own after a few hours or couple of days.

What should you do if bit?

  • If there is a stinger, remove it with tweezers
  • Wash the site with soap and water
  • Place a cold compress on the site to reduce swelling and itching
  • Apply a mix of baking soda and water (ex.: After Bite®) on the affected region, which can reduce itching
  • Lemon juice and calamine lotion can reduce itching.

Don’t use topical anesthetics such as Polysporin Itch – Insect Bite, because it can increase the allergic reaction

However, antihistamines such as Benadryl take orally (not in cream form) can reduce both swelling and calm itching for pregnant women and children, depending on the manufacturer’s guidelines

When should you consult health professional after an insect bite or sting?

Call 911:

  • If there is an intense fever accompanied by headache and joint pain
  • If their general health changes rapidly
  • If red spots and other symptoms occur quickly and spread around their body, with or without discharge
  • If there are signs of severe allergic reactions:

               o    Swelling of lips or tongue

               o    Respiratory problems

               o    Sudden vomiting 

I think I have provided you with a lot of information about safely using mosquito repellent, both for pregnant or breastfeeding women and for babies and young children.

Enjoy your days outside with your family, and enjoy nature and all it offers!

Talk soon,


The Baby Expert

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