With the onset of the monsoon, the chances of getting bitten by mosquitoes rise manifold. Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading several infectious diseases such as dengue, malaria, chikungunya and viral fevers among others. A recent article reported that Malaria cases in Mumbai increased by 33% in June, and cases are likely to increase in the coming months.
Therefore, this monsoon season, it’s important to know how to keep your baby safe from mosquitoes in order to prevent him/her from falling prey to any of these deadly diseases. Here are 7 tips that will help you out in this regard.
1) Close off areas where standing water collects
One way that you can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in your home is by making sure that there are no sources of standing water near where your baby sleeps, plays or eats.
Dengue mosquitoes breed in standing water, such as buckets, flowerpots, water tanks, and air coolers. It’s important to keep these areas clear at all times.
You should also be careful when disposing of plastic bottles or other containers outside, since they may contain small amounts of stagnant water that could breed mosquitoes.
2) Use mosquito repellent with DEET
Use a DEET-based insect repellent as it is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency which clears its use in people of all ages, including children.
Choose one with an ingredient called IR3535 (as effective as DEET) which has been proven to be effective against Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.
Read the label carefully before purchasing your product as there are some specific requirements like concentration and age limits that you must adhere to.
Apply the cream or spray on the baby’s clothes and on exposed parts of the skin like hands and feet.
3) Dress them in loose, protective clothing
Mosquitoes can be a threat to your baby and the best way you can prevent them from being bitten is by making sure they are dressed properly.
Loose clothing that covers their entire body is ideal, and it’s also important that they have clothes that are light in color as mosquitoes tend to avoid these more than darker colors.
4) Mosquito nets in windows or doors
Mosquito nets are a simple and effective way to keep your baby safe from mosquitoes.
You can place the net over your baby’s crib at night, or you can hang it in any open window or door in the house during the day.
The mosquito net should have holes small enough for air circulation but not big enough for mosquitos to enter. Make sure they are properly installed to prevent suffocation.
5) Use fans to create an air flow against the bugs
Fans can be used as an effective way of keeping mosquitoes away, and they’re also useful for getting a breeze going in these humid months.
Place a fan near your baby’s cot or crib. Turn it on low and make sure that it blows air towards the bed so bugs will get blown away.
This technique is particularly helpful if you have a mosquito net over your baby’s bed, but it can also work even without one.
6) Light citronella candles around the house
If you don’t want to use insect repellent, you can try burning candles. Citronella and other essential oils, such as lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass and tea tree oil, work well.
Be sure that the candle is not near anything flammable like curtains, clothes or furniture, and out of reach for toddlers.
7) Protect strollers with mosquito nets
If you need to step outdoors with your baby, make sure the crib or stroller comes with a mosquito net.
The nets should be long enough to hang over both the front and back of the infant carrier so they can’t get inside.
You should also know the symptoms of dengue in children. If you detect the symptoms early enough, you will be able to get rapid treatment.
In children, the negative effects of dengue fever can be increased because of their growing immune system.
Keep your children hydrated at all times to prevent dehydration.
It’s not a good idea to ignore any unusual changes in your child, such as dryness of the mouth, a sunken soft spot (on the infant’s head), decreased urination, or crying without tears.
Please contact us if you notice any of these symptoms to ensure your baby receives the best care.