Summertime means spending more time outdoors and a greater chance of getting bitten by insects. Not only can these bites irritate your child, they can also cause swelling and itching. In particular, peak mosquito season is from June to September with peak hours for bites at dawn and dusk. Most mosquito bites are harmless, but bites from mosquitoes carrying certain viruses can cause illness.

Luckily, insect repellents can be applied to protect your child from biting insects. These repellents exist in many forms and have a range of active ingredients, but the most commonly available ingredient is DEET. DEET may be applied to the skin and lasts 2-5 hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend applying repellents on children below the age of 2 months. However there are natural insect repellents that are safe for younger children, including those with ingredients such as geranium oil and citronella.

Click here for more information about insect repellents and other ways to protect your child from insect bites.