Annoying bugs can seriously put a damper on your outdoor fun. So, we slather on the bug repellant to keep them at bay, but are they safe for kids? Many bug sprays are made with Deet, which is a widely used bug-repelling ingredient that has a mild odor, but is safe to use. However, if you prefer a natural bug repellant, there are a variety of bug sprays made just for kids that are safe yet effective.
Natural bug sprays don’t have a strong chemical smell that so many bug repellants have, so that’s one main reason you may want to make the switch. These organic versions are made with ingredients that won’t irritate your kid’s skin— essential oils like citronella, lemongrass, and cedar. They also tend to have a subtle, pleasant smell your kids won’t mind. But if you want something with Deet, there are plenty of family-friendly versions to choose from that get the job done.
While safe for little kids, it’s important to still keep bug sprays out of reach. Ahead, check out the best bug sprays for babies, kids, and toddlers (and the entire family) that are skin-friendly but hard-working. We’ve selected Deet-free and versions with Deet so you have plenty of picks to choose from.
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1. Cutter All Family Insect Repellent Pump Spray
If you’re looking to buy one hard-working bug spray that’s not only safe for little ones but yourself too, opt for this effective bug spray. This trusted brand’s formula is gentle on skin, but tough on bugs. Unlike many bug sprays, it’s not greasy or oily—the last thing you need on a sweaty day is more moisture on your skin. Made with 7 percent Deet.
2. Babyganics Travel Size Bug Spray
You never know when bugs will attack, so keep this travel sized bug spray for kids in your prepared-mom kit on the go. This Deet-free formula is trusted by parents, and is made with natural ingredients like soybean oil, citronella, and rosemary oil. It’s free of parabens, artifical fragrances, and dyes, and has a non-greasy formula.
3. California Baby Plant-Based Natural Bug Repellant Spray
Another Deet-free bug spray for kids, this natural formula for babies and kids is a great alternative to traditional bug sprays. It’s made with natural, plant-based ingredients including lemongrass, cedar, and citronella that will banish bugs but feel great on their skin. It doesn’t have that artificial citronella scent that many bug sprays have, so you can focus on having fun outside instead of a potent smell on your skin.
4. Greenerways Bug Spray
This organic bug spray for babies, kids, and toddlers works just as well—if not better than traditional Deet bug sprays. Made with essential oils, this repellant is ultra-soothing on skin and is hypoallergenic, so those with sensitive skin can use this gentle formula too. The 4-ounce size is lightweight enough to take with you to the beach, while camping, fishing, or during any other outdoor activity.
5. Quantum Health Buzz Away Extreme
Natural doesn’t mean not as effective, and that’s certainly the case with this hard-working bug spray for kids. It’s packed with known bug-repelling essential oils including geranium, lemongrass, and citronella that’ll keep bugs at bay for hours so you can actually enjoy your time outside. It’s Deet-free and doesn’t have any harsh chemicals or artificial preservatives.