Last week in southwest Florida, when I decided to pull over in my rental car and take a quick photo of a glorious purple sunset over a saltwater marsh, I was quickly–and memorably!–introduced to the burning agony known locally as “the attack of the sand flies.”
When I jumped back into the air conditioned car, the burning biting continued from beneath my T-shirt on up to my scalp. I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to drive if this continued. Then I realized how odd it was that none of the sand flies had bitten me from the waist down–not even where my feet were exposed in my sandals right next to the ground.
Eureka! I was wearing my lightweight “adventure pants” that were treated with built-in insect repellent–and was I ever glad (much like the pants I recommended here). I’ve been a fan of Insect Shield clothing for a long time, especially to help my kids avoid mosquito and tick bites while enjoying the outdoors–without having to slather every inch of them in spray-on repellents and lotions. As my exposed feet demonstrated, insect repellent clothing will even help keep biting bugs away from the uncovered and un-repellented parts of person.
That’s powerful protection for the little people in our lives who are not yet old enough for DEET-containing repellents and who seriously protest the application of, well, anything that keeps them from playing for even a few minutes during your vacation.
Just a few key pieces of insect repellent clothing in the camping wardrobe or in the suitcase for trips to buggier regions could make a big difference in your child’s comfort–while keeping potential risks of mosquito and tick bites in check, too. Remember, all remain effective through 70 washings!
I also discovered this clever mini blanket treated with Insect Shield–perfect for evenings by the campfire, picnic stops on long road trips (let that baby stretch and sprawl!) and on-the-go insect protection. Easy!
For more DEET-free ways to help protect babies and young children from mosquitoes and ticks during travel, see the “Managing Mosquitoes” section in Travels with Baby, and see my post on DEET-free mosquito repellent that works for the whole family.
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks