Insect Protection Do’s & Don’ts From Dr. Tanya Altmann

Dr. Tanya Altmann

With summer comes mosquitoes and mosquito bites. While it can seem like all repellants are the same and that they all offer safe and easy one-step protection for all ages, that’s usually not the case, especially when it comes to babies. Here are six do’s and six don’ts to keep in mind when using repellent to protect your little ones from insects this summer.


1. Keep your infants and young child’s skin covered as much as possible in lightweight clothing and try to cover exposed skin, such as tucking pants into socks.

2. Consider using a mosquito net over your stroller or infant carrier.

3. Choose insect repellents approved for use of children and follow directions on the package.

4. Apply insect repellent to clothing (instead of directly to the skin when possible), such as around ends of sleeves, pants and socks to avoid flying insects from being attracted to nearby skin. Only apply to exposed skin when needed.

5. After coming inside or before bed, wash off insect repellent with a hypoallergenic baby wash designed to moisturize, like Baby Dove Rich Moisture Tip to Toe Wash.

6. Wash insect repellent off your children’s clothing before they wear them again.


1. Don’t use fragranced products such as scented laundry detergent or lotions as that can attract biting insects.

2. Don’t use repellents that contain more than 30 percent DEET in young children.

3. Don’t use insect repellent on babies under 2 months of age.

4. Avoid using sunscreen and insect repellent combination products because sunscreen should be reapplied frequently and insect repellant should not as that can overexpose your infant to components of the insect repellent.

5. Don’t apply insect repellent near the eyes or mouth or on hands in young children who may put their hands in their mouth

6. Don’t store products within children’s reach or let children apply their own repellent.

Dr. Tanya Altmann is a UCLA-trained pediatrician who, in addition to being a working mother and releasing her two books (What to Feed Your Baby: A Pediatrician’s Guide to the 11 Essential Foods to Guarantee Veggie-Loving, No-Fuss, Healthy-Eating Kids and Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents’ Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers), has also been featured as a child heal expert on numerous news national TV programs. She has served on the board of the National Association of Medical Communicators and the executive board of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Communications and Media. She is also the official medical advocate for Baby Dove. Learn more about her at!