How to protect your baby/toddler from mosquitoes this rainy season?

Although rainy season brings in a relief from heat, greenery and cool climate with it, it also invites lot of health disorders as well. One of the major issues is increase in mosquitoes which in turn brings in diseases like malaria, chickenguniya and dengue.

However, they are preventable. Here are some ways to protect your babies and toddlers against mosquitoes.

  1. Dress to protect – One of the most effective ways of protecting your baby is to minimise the area of exposed skin. Choose lightweight loose-fitting and cotton garments that allow the passage of air while covering your child’s body.
  2. Choose the right mosquito repellent – Do not use repellents on babies less than two months of age. For babies over two months of age, experts recommend that parents choose the lowest concentration of chemical possible. The most common chemical in Indian mosquito repellents is N, N-diethyl-benzamide (DEB). Some repellents contain DEET as well. Don’t use a repellent with more than 30 per cent DEET, picaridin or IR3535 on your baby.
  3. Bring out the nets and screens – Mosquito nets can be very effective if used well and the advantage is that, they have no negative health effects. If you share your bed with your baby, you can use a big net over your bed. Make sure to keep nets securely attached. Check to see that no mosquitoes are caught under the net. If your baby sleeps in a cot next to your bed, you can use a separate cot net. However, keep in mind that cot nets can become ineffective if you are taking your baby out of his bed to feed or change a nappy several times a night. Keep your baby’s cot, pram, stroller, and baby carrier covered with mosquito netting at all times, both indoors and outdoors. Additionally use mosquito screens on doors and windows, to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
  4. Bathe your child well – Humid weather is very sweaty and may cause allergies and fungal infections. To check this, you need to bathe your toddler well with soap at least once every day. Also, make sure to apply moisturiser after bath. Make sure to wash the creases of the body well. Special attention needs to be given in washing arm pits, neck, genitalia etc.
  5. Camphor known as “kapura” in Hindi act as a very effective mosquito repellant. Light a small piece of camphor in your room and shut the door and windows. Leave the room closed for 15 min. Your room will become a mosquito free zone.
  6. Use Herbal Mosquito Repellents like Citronella oil or herbal creams could be used in the evening hours. You could also apply a little on the exposed areas before sending your child to school. Aloe Vera is also supposed to be a very effective mosquito repellent.
  7. Use Citronella oil or eucalyptus oil for cleaning. Add a few drops of Citronella oil or eucalyptus oil in the water for sweeping the house. The smell of these oils keeps the insects at bay.
  8. Keep plants like neem, Tulsi, lemon grass, marigold, mint etc. inside your home. These plants acts very strong natural mosquito repellants and also add beauty to your home.

And most importantly keep your home and surrounding clean and garbage free. Make sure that there is no stagnant water in your surroundings.