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The Best Bug Repellent for Kids: Keep Bugs Away

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Best Bug Repellent For Kids
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Choosing the right bug repellent for children is essential for their comfort and health, particularly when enjoying outdoor activities. Kids are naturally curious explorers, often venturing into environments where they are exposed to a variety of insects. Effective bug repellents can protect them from bites and the associated risks of insect-transmitted diseases, such as Lyme disease from ticks or West Nile virus from mosquitoes.

When selecting bug repellents specifically formulated for children, safety is the top priority. Products should be gentle on young skin and free from harmful chemicals, while still being effective against a broad range of insects. Ingredients such as DEET, while very effective for adults, are often not recommended for children in high concentrations. Plant-based alternatives like oil of lemon eucalyptus and picaridin are considered safer options for kids, but it’s important to verify the age suitability since some natural ingredients are not recommended for children under certain ages.

In addition to the active ingredients, other factors to consider are the application method and duration of effectiveness. Sprays, wipes, and lotions are the most common forms, each with their own set of pros and cons. Long-lasting protection is desirable, but with children, a balance must be struck between duration of effectiveness and the potential for skin irritation or sensitivity.

Our focus on these products considers not only the efficacy of the repellents but also their safety profiles, ease of use, and sensory aspects such as scent and feel on the skin. By doing so, we aim to provide parents with recommendations that give them confidence in their choices. Now, let’s explore the top options on the market that meet these criteria.

Top Bug Repellents for Children

As parents and caregivers, we prioritize the safety and comfort of our kids, especially when it comes to protecting them from pesky insects. We’ve scoured the market to compile a list of bug repellents that are not only effective at keeping bugs at bay but are also kid-friendly, featuring gentle formulas that are suitable for their sensitive skin. From natural ingredients to long-lasting protection, our selection caters to the various needs and preferences of families.

BUZZPATCH Mosquito Stickers


We recommend these all-natural, DEET-free mosquito stickers as an effective way to protect kids from bites without harsh chemicals.


  • Infused with natural citronella oil, safe for kids
  • Adhesive, medical-grade, water-resistant patches
  • Appealing design and easy application


  • May require multiple patches for full protection
  • Effectiveness may vary from child to child
  • Limited duration of peak effectiveness (first 8 hours)

Parents seeking a natural alternative to chemical bug repellents will appreciate the safe profile of BUZZPATCH’s mosquito stickers. The use of citronella, a plant-based essential oil, renders these stickers a suitable option for children, including those with sensitive skin. The disposal of the stickers is straightforward, minimizing environmental impact.

The design is friendly and appealing to kids, encouraging them to wear the stickers without a fuss. Simplicity is key; application is as easy as placing a sticker on clothing, making it a convenient solution for busy families on the go, whether for daily use or during travel.

Conversely, some may find the duration of maximum effectiveness a limitation, with the first eight hours being the most crucial. Depending on the intensity of the mosquitoes, several stickers might be necessary to ensure comprehensive coverage, which could become cumbersome over time. Additionally, as with any topical repellent, the degree of protection may differ between individuals, making it important to assess its effectiveness for each child.

OFF! Kids Spray

OFF! Kids Insect Repellent Spray

We see this product as a favorable choice for parents seeking a safe and plant-based bug repellent for their little ones.


  • Specifically formulated for children 6 months and older
  • Easy-to-apply pump spray for quick application
  • Non-oily formula with no added fragrance for sensitive skin


  • Effective only up to 90 minutes, may require reapplication
  • Unscented, which may be less appealing to some users
  • Plant-based formula might vary in efficacy compared to DEET-based repellents

When considering a safe and gentle bug repellent for children, OFF! Kids Spray stands out as a solid option with its plant-based formula. It’s reassuring to know that it caters to sensitive skin, lacks harsh chemicals, and is crafted with kids’ well-being in mind. Its easy application is a bonus, making the pre-outdoor routine quick and fuss-free.

Despite its specificity for kids and convenience, one must consider its 90-minute protection window. This duration may not cover extended outdoor activities, thus requiring diligent reapplication. Additionally, while the absence of added fragrance is a boon for sensitive users, it also means the natural scent might not be to everyone’s liking.

Overall, we find OFF! Kids Spray to be a suitable preparative step in a child’s daily outdoor adventure. It strikes a balance between effectiveness and safety, further cementing its status as a wise pick for parents prioritizing their children’s comfort and protection from pests.

Mosquito Guard Kids’ Bracelets

Mosquito repellant bracelets

We recommend these Mosquito Guard bracelets for parents seeking a natural DEET-free bug repellent option for their children.


  • Made with natural essential oils
  • Individual packaging enhances portability
  • Adjustable size fits all children


  • The strong citronella scent may be overpowering for some
  • Not as effective against aggressive mosquito species
  • Scent may transfer to skin and other surfaces

When choosing bug repellent for kids, safety is paramount. Thankfully, these bracelets are crafted with natural oils, which are gentler on young skin compared to chemical alternatives. The fact that the bracelets are DEET-free can give us peace of mind, as DEET can sometimes cause adverse skin reactions in sensitive individuals.

Always having repellents at the ready can be a life-saver during outdoor adventures. The convenience of the individually wrapped bands makes it easy to toss a few into our family’s travel bag or stroller, ensuring we’re prepared wherever we roam. Plus, there’s no need to worry about who they’ll fit; the adjustable design ensures that these bracelets hug both tiny wrists and ankles snugly.

Despite the considerable advantages, it’s worth noting that effectiveness can vary. Strong scents are a trade-off for the natural ingredients, which might not be ideal for everyone, as some of us may find the smell too intense. And if we encounter particularly tenacious or abundant pests, the bracelets might not offer complete protection, prompting us to couple them with other forms of defense.

Badger Anti-Bug Spray

Badger Anti-Bug Spray

We believe the Badger Anti-Bug Spray is a top choice for families seeking a natural and eco-friendly solution to protect their little ones from pesky insects.


  • Formulated with organic essential oils known for repelling insects
  • Free from DEET and other synthetic chemicals, ensuring child safety
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum bottle, perfect for on-the-go use


  • The scent may be overpowering for some individuals
  • Can feel oily on the skin
  • Attracts bees, which could be a concern for some

Our children’s health and safety are always at the forefront of our priorities. That’s why we’re pleased to introduce the Badger Anti-Bug Spray. Its formulation includes natural ingredients such as Citronella, Rosemary, and Lemongrass essential oils, which are known for their bug-repelling properties.

Equally important is what’s not in this bug repellent. You won’t find DEET or other synthetic chemicals here, making it a reassuring choice for parents who prefer to use organic products on their children’s delicate skin. Moreover, the product is gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free, aligning with ethical consumer values.

Let’s talk convenience. The repellent comes in a rugged yet lightweight aluminum bottle that’s easy to carry on any family adventure, whether you’re hiking through the woods or having a picnic in your local park. The bottle’s pump spray design allows for quick and even application, letting you focus on the fun rather than the fuss.

When considering a bug spray for kids, it’s essential to look at all angles. Some might find the scent a bit strong, although this is a subjective matter and often an indicator of the natural oils’ potency. Users have also mentioned that it feels oily on the skin, which might require some getting used to. An unexpected drawback is its propensity to attract bees, so caution is advised for those with bee allergies.

Despite these considerations, the Badger Anti-Bug Spray stands out for its commitment to natural ingredients and environmentally conscious production. If you’re in search of a kid-friendly bug repellent that aligns with a green lifestyle, this product may be the ideal choice for your family’s outdoor protection.

California Baby Bug Spray

California Baby Natural Bug Repellent Spray

We recommend California Baby Bug Spray for parents seeking a natural, DEET-free bug repellent safe for children over six months.


  • Contains natural essential oils that effectively repel insects
  • DEET-free, making it a safer choice for young kids
  • Pleasing scent of citronella and lemongrass instead of the typical chemical smell


  • Frequent reapplication may be needed for continuous protection
  • Strong scent might not be preferred by all users
  • Price may be higher compared to other bug repellents

We often worry about the harsh chemicals in many insect repellents, especially when it comes to our kids. California Baby offers a solution that eases those concerns. Its use of citronella and lemongrass not only keeps the bugs at bay but does so without the use of DEET, a common but sometimes controversial ingredient in many bug repellents.

Finding a middle ground between effectiveness and safety can be challenging, but this product seems to strike that balance well. It’s suitable for frequent application and poses less risk for those small bodies we want to protect. Moreover, the product is allergy-tested and lacks common allergens, which adds peace of mind for parents navigating the maze of children’s sensitivities.

However, as with all things, there are trade-offs. The need for frequent reapplication of the natural formula means one has to stay on top of bug protection during longer outdoor adventures. And while the scent is pleasant for most, it may still be too strong for some children or adults with sensitive noses. Additionally, if you’re budget-conscious, the price tag might give you pause, though the non-toxic formula can justify the cost for many.

Sallye Ander No-Bite-Me Cream

Sallye Ander No-Bite-Me Cream

We find that Sallye Ander’s No-Bite-Me Cream is a versatile choice for families seeking a natural and DEET-free bug repellent.


  • Blends natural ingredients for up to 4 hours of protection
  • Combines repellent with soothing after-bite care
  • Handmade in the USA with a commitment to quality


  • Not waterproof and may need reapplication
  • Strong scent may not be appealing to all
  • 2 oz size may not be sufficient for extended outings

Finding the right bug repellent for children is crucial, especially when trying to avoid harsh chemicals. Sallye Ander’s No-Bite-Me Cream answers this need with a formulation that’s both gentle on skin and effective in fending off insects.

Enjoying the outdoors without the inconvenience of bites is a big advantage of this product. Its eco-friendly approach does away with DEET, opting instead for essential oils known for their repellent properties, making it a conscientious choice for both the environment and our children.

This repellent cream doubles as an after-bite treatment, which is practical when dealing with the discomfort of itchy skin. The soothing effect of beeswax helps calm down any irritation, providing relief and comfort following insect encounters.

California Baby Bug Repellent

California Baby Bug Repellent

We recommend this repellent for its natural protective qualities and child-safe ingredients, perfect for keeping the little ones bite-free.


  • Made with natural essential oils, such as citronella and lemongrass, known for their effectiveness against bugs
  • Formulated without DEET and other harsh chemicals, making it safe for babies over 6 months
  • Allergy-tested to ensure it’s gentle on sensitive skin and free from common allergens


  • Requires frequent reapplication for continued effectiveness
  • May be more expensive compared to other repellents on the market
  • Sprayer issues reported by some users, which could impact ease of use

Finding the right bug repellent is crucial when protecting kids from the itchiness and discomfort of insect bites. The California Baby Bug Repellent stands out for its plant-based formula. Essential oils are the cornerstone of its defense, a strategy that maintains efficacy without resorting to synthetic chemicals. It’s reassuring to have a product that takes a gentler approach for little ones.

The scent is a significant advantage. Crafted with citronella and lemongrass, not only does it repel unwanted pests, but it also pleases our senses, sparing us the usual harsh odors commonly associated with bug sprays. It’s heartening to have a product that smells as good as it works.

We are aware of how sensitive children’s skin can be, which is why allergy testing is a critical step in the selection process. This repellent ticks the right boxes by avoiding common allergens. Being able to protect your child without the worry of an allergic reaction offers invaluable peace of mind.

Buying Guide

When selecting bug repellent for kids, it’s essential to focus on safety and efficacy. We’ll guide you through key features to consider when making your choice.

Safety Profile

Ingredients: Look for products with active ingredients like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. However, since children’s skin is more sensitive, opt for repellents with a lower concentration of these active substances.

Age Appropriateness: Check the label for age recommendations to ensure the product is suitable for your child’s age group.


Duration of Protection: Consider how long the repellent will last. This is typically measured in hours of effectiveness before reapplication is needed.

Application Method: Sprays, lotions, and wipes all offer different levels of convenience and even coverage.

Sensitivity and Comfort

Skin Sensitivity: Choose hypoallergenic formulas to minimize the risk of skin reactions.

Scent and Residue: Prefer repellents that leave no sticky residue and have a mild scent to ensure your child remains comfortable when wearing the product.

Environmental Factors

Water Resistance: If your child will be swimming or sweating, look for water-resistant options to maintain protection.

Feature Why It Matters
Active Ingredients Determines safety and effectiveness
Concentration Must be age-appropriate and safe for kids
Duration Longer-lasting means fewer applications
Application Type Lotions, sprays, and wipes each have pros and cons
Hypoallergenic Reduces risk of allergic reactions
Scent & Residue Product should be comfortable for kids to wear
Water Resistance Ensures efficacy during water activities or sweating

Choosing a bug repellent for children wisely will provide them with the best defense against insect bites while minimizing potential skin irritation and other concerns. Always read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for optimal safety and effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand the importance of protecting children from insect bites while ensuring their skin is not irritated. Our focus is on safety and efficacy when considering bug repellent options for kids.

What are the safest bug repellent ingredients for children with sensitive skin?

For children with sensitive skin, we recommend repellents containing ingredients like picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), which are generally well-tolerated. It’s crucial to follow the product’s age restrictions and application guidelines to minimize skin irritation.

How does picaridin compare to DEET in terms of safety and effectiveness for kids?

Picaridin is an effective alternative to DEET and is suitable for kids due to its low skin absorption and irritation potential. Both ingredients are proven to be effective against a wide range of insects, but picaridin often offers a more pleasant odor and less plasticky feel, which might be preferred for children.

Which mosquito repellents are recommended for infants by health services?

Many health services recommend using products with a concentration of 10% DEET for infants over two months old. However, they advise against using oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or the synthetic version, PMD, on children under three years of age.

What are some effective natural insect repellent options for children?

Natural repellents containing essential oils like citronella, peppermint, or cedarwood can be effective. However, their protection time is generally shorter than chemical repellents, so they need to be reapplied more frequently.

Can insect repellent sprays like Hello Bello be used safely on toddlers?

Yes, insect repellent sprays such as Hello Bello that are DEET-free and use essential oils can be used safely on toddlers. Always ensure the product is specifically labeled for use on children and follow the application instructions provided.

What factors should be considered when choosing a bug spray for a child with eczema?

When choosing a bug spray for a child with eczema, look for fragrance-free options with minimal ingredients to reduce the risk of skin irritation. Avoid alcohol-based sprays as they can dry out sensitive skin, and always perform a patch test before full application.

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