For kids, summertime is the best time. There’s swimming, bike rides, camping, ice cream and days spent running around outside in the sprinkler. Even with all going on in the world this year, hopefully your kids still get to spend as much time as they can in the backyard this season. After a long (very long) spring spent indoors, we’re certainly not letting mosquitos stop us from summer fun. Those mosquito bites wreaking havoc on your kid’s sweet and delicate skin. The worst!
Finding a repellent that’s safe for your family to use can be a challenge, though. You don’t want anything too dangerous like DEET, but you still need something that’s going to keep those annoying bites at bay (for your sanity as much as for the kids). Here are some of the best insect repellents, lotions, bracelets, and more to use this summer. These are family friendly and can be used for adults as well as the kiddos. Make sure you stock up, this is one of those products you need when you need them, there’s no waiting. Now light up your citronella candles and read ahead.
Most bug sprays are so harsh smelling. If the smell bothers your kids, you’ve got to try Bug Soother, which has a lovely lemongrass and vanilla scent your family will love. Don’t let that innocent fresh scent fool you, though. This is highly effective at keeping not only mosquitos away, but gnats, no-see-ums, sand fleas and black flies, too. It’s OK to use on pets and horses, too, which is pretty gnarly if you keep animals around. Most importantly, the ingredient list checks out as all-natural so you don’t need to worry about spraying your family down before camp, the beach, a camping trip or whatever you get into this summer. One mom reviewer on Amazon wrote, “My sister in law had this product and was raving about it. We used it at my son’s football game and we didn’t get bit. Great product and doesn’t stink like some of the others. Smells quite nice.”
Like your favorite shampoo/conditioner, there’s nothing better than a two-in-one. That’s what you get with this combo SPF 30 sunscreen and insect repellent lotion. If your kids can’t sit still for one second (we get it, summer is short and there’s fun to be had!) they’ll be thrilled this takes care of pesky bugs and uncomfortable sunburn in one. Plus it’s water-resistant and PABA-free so they won’t even have to deal with reapplying after jumping in the pool or lake. It even contains aloe and Vitamin E so its soothing on your kid’s delicate skin. It has over 2,700 four and a half star reviews on Amazon, with one mom writing, “This is the only product that works for my 6-year-old daughter. She gets bad reactions from mosquito bites and I’ve tried so many repellents. I love that this is also a sunscreen! I highly recommend this product and I will continue to buy this for as long as they sell it.”
Kids hate being sprayed? Avoid fights this summer by simply placing one of these handy insect-repelling bracelet on their wrist or ankle instead. This 10-pack of bracelets won’t slow your kids down for spray time. These are safe for kids ages 3 and up, so great for older kids. You can send a pack or two for them to bring to camp or for everyday use. They are DEET-free and waterproof, so all-around kid-friendly. They also are full of essential oils, so no nasty smells coming off of them. One mom sung their praises on Amazon, saying, “My 6 year old doesn’t like aerosol bug spray so this is a perfect substitute. I was hesitant at first, but this works just as good as bug spray. My daughter is at an outdoor camp all day and this bracelet keeps her free from bug bites all day. We can also get multiple uses from one bracelet. Definitely would recommend.”
As a parent, you probably look for organic kid’s products as often as possible. They can be expensive, though. Luckily that’s not the case with Hello Bello Organic Bug Spray, which is just $8 and highly effective at combating bug bites with natural ingredients. Not only does the ingredients list check out, it is also 100 percent USDA organic-certified, DEET-free and hypoallergenic for sensitive skin. This is a favorite amongst parents, with one reviewer on Walmart writing, “Anyone who lives in Florida knows we have mosquitos. My daughter has always had horrible reactions to mosquito bites. We have tried many different kinds of bug repellent and she still somehow gets bitten. We tried out this bug spray because of the natural and minimal ingredients. I am so impressed we played outside most of the day and both of the girls didn’t get a single bug bite!”
If you are in need of a travel-size bug spray to keep in the car and pack along for all your summer adventures, you can’t do better than this organic repellent. It’s designed to be family-friendly and safe for kids because it’s DEET-free and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, toxins or preservatives. Another huge benefit is that it is effective against ticks, too, in case your kids play in wooded or grassy areas. The spray has over 500 four star reviews on Amazon, with one parent wrote that it’s a “godsend,” saying, “We live in tick central. Not anymore. This stuff WORKS. It was recommended at UNH after a lecture on Lyme disease, and they nailed it. I can spray my family and go out with confidence we will not succumb to those horrible little parasites and the diseases they spread. Also works great for green head flies on the beach, mosquitos and any other insect you are trying to evade! A staple in our home and cars.”
If you’re already a fan of California Baby bubble bath, diaper rash cream, and other baby-friendly products, you’ll love their plant-based natural insect repellent, too. It has a nice herbal scent because its ingredients are mainly cedar, lemongrass and citronella oil. You can feel safe using it on your kids because it’s DEET-free and free from harsh chemicals. You can spray it directly on your kid’s skin if you feel comfortable or over their clothing or backpacks. It has over 311 four star Amazon reviews so far, and parents are big fans. One wrote, “This is the only bug repellant I will use and use on my kids. The only time I’ve used something else was when I was pregnant and wanted to protect myself from Zika. I feel safe using this spray and it really does work. I am one of those who will have 10 bites within 10 minutes of being outside, while everyone else has none. This product has allowed me to enjoy being outside.”
Some bug sprays contain a lot of ingredients that make a parent think, “yikes!” You don’t have to worry about that with the Babyganics brand, which is both pediatrician and dermatologist-approved for your kid’s sensitive skin. The ingredient list is simple, too, including citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass and geranium essential oils. This formula has over 800 positive four-star reviews on Amazon. One mom wrote that it is effective, safe, and easy to travel with, saying, “We’ve used twice and so far, so good. It doesn’t have a very strong smell, it is easy to apply and dried quickly. Baby had a nap outside on a blanket for about an hour, in the middle of summer, and woke up without a single bug bite. Ingredients are on the inside of the label on the back. All ingredients should give parents peace of mind. I would suggest always giving baby a bath after you’re done with being outside and to wash it off your own hands after applying.”
Bug sprays are fine for adults and older kids, but what about babies and toddlers? Well, hold on to your sun hat, because these Nuby bug repellent clips are perfect for young kids and babies. You can clip them onto your kid’s shirt, hat, backpack, diaper bag, or onto a stroller and they will repel bugs for up to 30 days. They are DEET-free and made of natural ingredients. Use them in the park, your backyard, on camping trips—the possibilities are endless. Plus, they are cute and colorful. These have over 100 four and a half star reviews on Amazon. One grandparent wrote that these are mom’s favorite repellent, saying, “I love these all natural clip-ons for our 1-year-old granddaughter! We bought several packs and clip one on the back of the collar of her shirt. She doesn’t ever fuss with it because it’s in a comfortable place. She has used these for months and not been bitten by anything, even outside in the heat with shorts or dresses on. We are in California and mosquitos are very high here. I highly recommend. They are also reusable and come in a zipper pouch to keep fresh for many hours of use.”
Check out Spotted for more summertime fun essentials for kids.