Say bye bye to those nasty red bites and hello to chemical-free and natural ways to fend them off…
It’s such a challenge for parents in Hong Kong to keep those bugs away from their little ones’ tender, sensitive skin. The Hong Kong mozzies are determined and covering your tykes, head to toe, in repellent sometimes seems the only way to guard against those painful, itchy bites. As mums, you want to know that what you’re slathering onto your little darlings is as safe and natural as possible. So, we’ve put together a list of some well-recommended natural insect repellents that are safe for children, and are sure to tell those pesky mozzies to buzz off! Be careful though, because many essential oils included into natural repellents aren’t suitable for babies under 3 years old. Another point to note is that sometimes natural repellents don’t last as long as chemical products, so remember to reapply!
If you are up to a DIY project, try concocting a potion of homemade mosquito repellent. We found this simple recipe on Survival At Home. To make this all natural repellent, simply place 3 to 5 ounces of whole cloves into 16 ounces of rubbing alcohol and let it sit for four days, to be stirred daily. Then strain the alcohol into a spray bottle and add 3 to 5 ounces of baby oil. So easy, even the most crafting-challenged mums can do it!
An established name in natural mosquito protection, PARA’KITO has got a Kids Collection, which features specially designed, pint-sized bands covered in fun, bright coloured prints, which snugly, yet comfortably fit little wrists and ankles. For the grown-up, they have a range of collections from sporty to party, so everyone would find a band for themselves! They emit a patented, natural repellent made up of seven essential oils, which lasts up to fifteen days. The PARA’KITO Kids Collection bands can be found at Mothercare and select Mannings Pharmacy locations around Hong Kong for $160.
Don’t like spray repellent? Try Badger Balm. Parents rave about this organic, all-natural repellent which you just easily dab onto your little ones’ skin. Doesn’t stain clothing, smells good, and a little goes a long way. This looks good to anyone, mum or not. And I’m not gonna lie, the adorable badger holding a swatter on the front label doesn’t hurt. Available from iHerb starting at $70.
California Baby hosts an extensive line of baby skincare loved by mums everywhere. Their bug blend contains Irish moss which nourishes and moisturises while the Lemongrass, Citronella and Cedar oils repels insects. Non-toxic, non-chemical, non-invasive and non-irritating, this vegetable and plant based repellent is a non-brainer. Starting at $60 from its official web site (not including shipping).
Super mum Jessica Alba not only dazzles us on screen, but delights us off-screen with non-toxic, eco-friendly, affordable and very cute baby products as co-founder of The Honest Company. The company offers a natural bug spray which uses a blend of organic, essential oils such as Rosemary, Citronella and Winter Green. Available on Amazon from $150.
These easy wipe-on towelettes not only help guard against a plume of repellent in the eyes, but they also give up to four hours of protection from mosquitos, black flies and gnats. This DEET free, gentle formula will have bugs avoiding your kids’ skin just as much as you avoid using the word “towelette”. Available on Amazon from $70.
Want to keep all types of creepy crawlies insect critters away? Try Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent, a 100% natural product with its main ingredient being rosemary oil. Available at Mannings Superstores around town, click here to find out where.
Using a stick might take a little longer than a spray to rub in, but you and, most importantly, your little bubbas won’t accidentally inhale the repellent. The formula uses naturally sourced ingredients, is DEET-free, and offers up to 10-hours of protection, making Mosi-Guard a great alternative to your usual bug spray. Available on Amazon starting $85 (not including shipping).
We realise that most of the products on this list require online purchases. If any of you Sassy Mamas have a favourite natural product which can be purchased locally, let us know so that we can dish out some local love in the future.
This article by Andrea Wada Davies was originally published in August 2015 and has been updated for accuracy. Thanks to Sonia Levina for her help.