As mothers, we are always concerned, even at the smallest of distress for our babies. It can be as small as a ‘mosquito bite’, which can have bigger pain and irritation for a small baby. It itches, it pains, it might burn and it leaves a red mark- and the most annoying thing is, babies cannot express their discomfort. They might cry or fidget, but many times, we might be unable to decide the exact reason.
Mosquitoes can bite anyone, anywhere. So, it might be difficult to prevent mosquito bites completely, but we can take necessary measures to reduce the bite, especially for babies. Mosquito bites cause reddish bumps on the skin, which takes time to heal and they can also carry other virus like malaria, dengue and others.
Parenting Tips – Few simple measures might help you to protect your baby from mosquito bites in any season:
Parenting Tip 1) : Proper Clothing
Babies need to be properly clothed to safe them from mosquito bites, even in the summers. Infants can be dressed in long sleeves tops and pajamas, especially in the night to cover their arms and legs. Mosquito bites, mostly happen in the night, hence put on full yet light clothes from the evening. Also, some experts suggest that light coloured clothes rather than bright colours or prints as they might attract insects. Put full clothes and avoid any uncovered area for kids, when they are going out to play.
Parenting Tip 2) : Use Mosquito Nets
For news borns and infants, use of mosquito net is VERY important. After all precautions also, there are high chances of your baby getting bitten by a mosquito, while he/she is sleeping. So, always cover with a baby net and ensure no gaps are there. These nets are safe and ensure that there is enough ventilation for the baby. For toddlers try to use big size mosquito nets for cribs or use the normal ones, if your baby is co-sleeping with you. Try to carry mosquito nets, whenever you are travelling with infants or ensure provision is there. Baby beds with fitted nets are also available these days. Use mosquito nets for toddlers and kids also as mosquito bites at any age can cause harmful diseases.
Parenting Tip 3) : Use of Mosquito Repellent
Mosquito repellent can be used, but to a limited extent as it emits toxic chemical, harmful for the baby. Avoid using strong mosquito repellent in the room, while the baby is sleeping. Keep the repellent on and close the room hours before the baby will sleep, so that all mosquitoes are out when it’s time for your baby to sleep. Avoid opening the doors too much after this as mosquitoes from outside might charge in. Even if the repellent is on when your toddler is sleeping with you, try to use a plug pint, which is far from them. Do not use aromatic ones as they might attract other insects and also make the room air suffocating for the baby.
It is better not to use mosquito repellent creams on the delicate skin of your baby. However, post six to eight months, you can ask the doctor for any herbal cream, if at all required.
You might not be able to stop your child from playing in mosquito infested areas outside, as you are not monitoring them always. Then, it might be a good idea to give them mosquito repellent bands. These are colourful bands round the wrist, which are non-toxic and helps to keep mosquitos off, when outdoors..
There are also mosquito repellent patches available in smiley shapes, which can be pasted in different positions in the room. These are natural with no harmful chemicals and suitable for kids, infants and pregnant women in the room.
Parenting Tip 4) : Use of Mosquito Repellent Blankets
Now a days mosquito repellent blankets for babies & kids are readily available in the market. They are odorless, harmless and completely eliminates the worry of harmful effects of conventional repellants. These eco-friendly blankets are both functional and comfortable as they are made using 100% cotton & help your baby with safe & sound sleep.
Parenting Tip 5) : Household Cleanliness
One very important measure to save your family from mosquitoes is to keep your house and surrounding areas clean. Do not allow stagnant water to accumulate anywhere in the house, especially in utensils, garden or plant pots. Replace old water in pots with clean, fresh water as these are the breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Always clean your kitchen and utensils after cooking and eating. Avoid keeping bathroom doors open as mosquitoes can enter the room from the toilet. In case, the problem of mosquitoes is too acute in your area, inform the local authorities to provide mosquito spraying activity once a week.
Always close doors and windows or close the nets during dusk as mosquitoes tend to enter the house during this time. Repair any broken doors or windows, which can be a probable entry point for mosquitoes. Avoid using strong fragrances in the house as these attract mosquitoes and insects.
Parenting Tip 6) : Keep your baby away
Though it is not always possible to protect your baby from every mosquito bite, but you can always keep your baby safe by avoiding heavy mosquito infested areas. Clean your child’s unused toys and change the pool water regularly (if you have one in the house). Do not allow them to play around areas, where water accumulates over a long time. Try to keep kids indoor during dusk. Try avoiding visits to places, where the situation is bad and you know your baby might get a mosquito bite.
With the above precautions & parenting tips, you can surely alleviate the severity to some extent. Do not panic in case your baby has a red bump due to mosquito bite; keep using her regular baby cream. If it is really bad, please consult the doctor before applying anything else on the affected are of the delicate skin.
Keep calm and take necessary step to battle the tiny beasts for yourself and your family! Happy Parenting!!