There was a time when parents didn't use bug spray on their kids. Bug bites were just a part of life. And then came the Lyme disease and West Nile virus and a host of other diseases hitching a ride on insects, just waiting to get our kids. Protecting your baby from bugs isn't just about the annoying bite anymore. It's keeping scary disease at bay.
But like all things in parenting, that's easier said than done. For every scary disease out there, there's a bottle of chemical-laden bug repellent just waiting to make our delicate little babies sick.
It almost doesn't seem worth it, does it? We put all this time into finding non-toxic laundry detergents and shampoos, only to be told we need to put something on our babies that's quite literally made to kill a creature!
Only keeping the bugs away is worth it, at least if you look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. The number of cases of Lyme disease has more than doubled over the last 15 years. There were more than 24,000 confirmed reports in 2011. Since 1999, the CDC has received official reports 37,088 cases of West Nile virus and 1,549 deaths related to the mosquito-born illness.
So what the heck is a parent to do? Can we protect our babies from bugs without exposing them to a raft of toxic chemicals?
Now for the good news -- we can. And we don't have to put them in bubbles to do it! Cue happy dance (don't worry if you're holding the baby, it will help get out the gas bubbles).
Here are the best tips to keep your baby safe from bugs! Some are common sense ... but some might surprise you (they did me!).
How are your handling the big bad bug season with baby?
Image via donnierayjones/Flickr