[caption id="attachment_3084" align="alignright" width="300"] Image courtesy of John Tann via Flickr CC by 2.0[/caption]
Mosquitoes carry a number of serious illnesses that can affect your children including West Nile virus, and St. Louis encephalitis. Mosquito bites can also make your children itchy and uncomfortable. One of the best ways to avoid the complications that come with mosquito bites is to help your children to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes completely.
Dress Your Children to Protect Them
Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, so you should dress your children in light colored clothes. Loose fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants can reduce the number of mosquito bites that your children receive. There is the option to treat the clothing with an insect repellent or to buy clothing that is already treated. This option is good if you know you are going into an area that is heavily populated with mosquitoes like on a camping trip, but it may not be practical for every day clothing and use.
Use Mosquito Repellent
An important step is to use an effective mosquito repellent on your children. There are a number of different options that you can use. DEET is very effective and will work against ticks as well. Picaridin is another very effective option. It is safe to begin using these repellents on your babies as soon as they are two months old. The dangers of mosquito borne illnesses can outweigh any worry you have about using the repellents on your children. For babies in strollers or baby carriers, you can use a mosquito net when you are outside to keep them outside of your home.
Avoid Peak Times
Mosquitoes tend to be more active in the early morning just after dawn and in the early evening at dusk. This is also a time when many people spend times outside because it is a bit cooler than during other times of the day. If you stay in during these hours you can reduce the number of mosquito bites. If you need to be outside during this time, you need to be sure to use insect repellent and to reapply it as needed for the protection.
Address Your Backyard
One of the most common areas to be bitten is in your backyard. You can address standing water in your backyard and set up a fan to reduce the number of mosquitoes that can land, but the most effective way to do that is to have your yard professionally treated for mosquitoes. This will protect your yard and home from mosquitoes and it means that you do not have to worry about constantly applying mosquito repellent every time you send your children out to play.