The hot and humid climate of India makes it a favourable breeding ground for mosquitoes. The prolonged months of monsoon also act as a boon for mosquitoes as it becomes easy for them to breed in stagnant water.
Since they are carriers of some of the most deadly diseases such as Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya, and Yellow Fever, as parents we are always try to safeguard our babies from these pesky insects. But how do we do it?
How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Baby
Here are some of the ways to keep mosquitoes away from your little one:
Dress to protect: Minimising the area of exposed skin of your baby can be one of the most effective ways of protecting them from mosquitoes. Here are some tips:
Newborns can be dressed in onesies or bodysuits that cover as much of the body as possible. Your toddlers can be dressed in full-length garments. Tucking the pants into socks can prevent mosquitoes from finding their way to the baby’s skin. Try to avoid shorts, skirts, capris, and sleeveless tops during the mosquito season.
Lightweight knits and cotton garments would be ideal as these ensure optimum comfort while covering the body.
Try to opt for a loose fit as mosquitoes can bite through tight-fitting clothing.
Try to avoid dark colours and floral prints as these tend to attract mosquitoes.
Bring out the nets and screens: Keeping your baby’s cot, pram, and stroller covered with mosquito netting (both indoors and outdoors) can help protect your little one from mosquitoes. You can try some of the following tips:
Another way to create a no-mosquito zone for your little one is to install mesh screens on doors and windows.
Nylon insect screens can also be helpful. These screens are attached to the windows with velcro and can be removed and washed regularly.
You can also attach door stopper brushes on doors so that mosquitoes don’t find their way to the room under the doors.
Avoid using scented lotions, soaps, and perfumes: Fragranced lotions, soaps, perfumes, hair sprays, and even scented laundry detergent can attract mosquitoes. Read the labels to make sure that the body wash, massage oil, or any other product you would apply to your baby are free from fragrance.
Pest control: Another way to keep mosquitoes at bay is to carry out regular spraying and fogging. This will help you get rid of the existing mosquitoes along with other pests.
At the same time, clear the areas around the house and get rid of empty tins, trash, puddles and garbage containers where water can be collected.
Change the water in birdbaths, inflatable pools, fountains, indoor plants, and vases frequently.
You can add a few drops of kerosene oil to open drains, small ponds, and other places where stagnant water remains. The kerosene oil forms a thin film over the water and hinders mosquitoes from breeding.
Aroma Therapy: Using incense sticks and oil diffusers with natural oils and fragrances such as mint, cloves, anise, citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus, neem, and lavender can keep mosquitoes at bay.
Regular use of these products would make a fresh and aromatic house devoid of mosquitoes inevitable. However, these must be kept out of children’s reach.
Stay inside at dawn, dusk, and post-rainfall: Asmosquitoes are most active at dawn, dusk, and following rainy weather, it is advisable to keep your baby inside during these times.
Use Baby-Safe Mosquito Repellents: You can include anti-mosquito repellent in the daily regime for protecting your little one from mosquitoes.
It is recommended to use products that are gentle on the skin and are specially made for babies. Try to opt for products that are devoid of chemicals and are dermatologically tested.
In India, especially during certain seasons rarely do we get any respite from being exposed to mosquitoes. Hence, the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests protecting children from mosquitoes by controlling the environment and the use of mosquito repellents.