Sunday, 2 July 2017




Are mosquito coils or plug-in repellents safe to use for my baby?

Dr Saroja Balan
Neonatologist and paediatrician.
Insect repellent lotion and spray for kidsWhich mosquito repellent is safe for my baby?
No. It is best not to use coils or plug-in mosquito repellents around your baby.
Coils and plug-in mosquito repellents contain chemicals which are not safe to be inhaled.
Studies have shown that the smoke and fumes from them aggravate or cause breathing problems. They can also cause eye irritations or allergic reactions.
In large doses, the chemicals can cause serious illnesses. Some research also links the burning of coils to lung cancer.
So if you're using coils and plug-in mosquito repellents: 
Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
Keep your baby in another room while the repellent is burning. 
Do not sleep in a room with a plug-in repellent or burning coil.
Keep burning coils and plug-ins away from your child's reach to prevent burn injuries.
If mosquitoes are a menace, consider using natural insect repellents instead. There are a number of them with varying levels of success.
You could also try keeping mosquitoes at bay by: 
burning citronella or lemon grass scented candles in your home. Place them near windows or the entrance of the house where your baby can't reach them.
burning citronella or lemon grass essential oils in a burner at dusk when it is usually the time that mosquitoes enter the house.
burning insect repellant incense sticks at dusk
Get rid of stagnant water. Empty old flower pots, vases, air coolers and other items that collect water, especially during the monsoon season.
Dress your baby in light-coloured clothing. Dark colours attract mosquitoes.
Dress your baby in long-sleeved and full length garments to avoid skin exposure.
Stay in air-conditioned or cool areas as much as possible. Mosquitoes do not thrive in cold temperatures.
Use mosquito nets while sleeping, not only at night but also during daytime naps.
Install mosquito meshes on your doors and windows. You could try the detachable or velcro meshes that are available from hardware stores and home maintenance stores. These let in some light and breeze and keep away the pests.
Keep your baby away from hedges and bushes when in the park. These are where mosquitoes are commonly found.
Read more on:
Seven ways to protect your baby from mosquitoes.
Malaria in children.
Dengue in children.
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