Bug repellent (and the deets on DEET)
Most of us are bidding summer weather sweet goodbye and preparing for cooler fall temps. But for the rest of us in year-round warm climates, the bug life is real (special shoutout to my Singapore / Houston folks!)
Or, if you’re planning a trip somewhere warm and tropical, hope you find these notes useful.
Sparring you all the research and supporting links, let me break it down before anything else: - First slather SPF thoroughly and allow a couple of mins to dry - Then spray bug repellent - Avoid a combined SPF-bug repellent product
The EWG, my most trusted resource for consumer safety reporting, recommends these three bug repellent ingredients and percentage concentration for kids: - DEET: max 10% - Picaridin: max 20% - IR3535: max 20% (wtf, how is this random series of numbers an ingredient?)
So for some reason, I always thought DEET was a huge no-no for kids. But research indicates that at the right concentration, DEET is fair game for kids older than 6 months and offers the best protection against insect bites.
Here’s a quick list of great products that meet all the standards: - Cutter Family 7% DEET spray ($3.50!) - Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin spray ($8.50) - If you prefer something more natural, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus ($5) spray is vetted. But only for kids 3 and up. Dicey but key detail: Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is apparently not the same as Lemon Eucalyptus oil (which is a pure essential oil).