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What Is DEET? And Is It Safe For Kids?

Fun fact: Not only is skin your body's largest organ, but it absorbs over 60 percent of what you rub into it. OK, now that we've covered that, let's talk about DEET, shall we? 

When it comes to our little ones, we want to do everything in our power to keep them safe and away from harm. And one way to do that is by shielding them from pesky blood-sucking mosquitoes. If the infamous itchy bite wasn't enough, we have to also worry about those insects transmitting deadly diseases. Malaria, yellow fever, dengue: these are just a few of the life-threatening illnesses mosquitoes can pass on to our vulnerable babies. 

That being said, the best way to avoid the not-so-fun bugs of summer is simple — wear long sleeves, long pants, avoid being outdoors at dusk, and steer clear of scented shampoos and lotions. Easy, right? 

Not exactly. When school's out, and the weather is warm, rocking winter apparel and coming indoors before the sun goes down is the last thing our kids want to do. For this reason, insect repellent is of the utmost importance!

However, have you ever taken the time to read the ingredients on the back of these popular products? Picaridin, cyfluthrin, permethrin: while all of these harsh chemicals are enough to send a chill down your spine, the ingredient we should be really wary about is DEET. 

Interested in learning more? The Natural Patch Co. has your back! Read on to discover everything you need to know about DEET, including what it is and its safety for kids. 

The Low Down On Deet: Everything You Need To Know 

Believe it or not, most insect repellents on the market these days are loaded with toxic chemicals, including DEET. DEET  is so incredibly poisonous that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says you should immediately wash it off your skin when you return indoors, avoid inhaling it, and not spray it directly on your face. 

In addition, here are a few more things about DEET and chemical insect repellents you should know:

  • The chemical DEET can literally melt plastic
  • Permethrin is another icky chemical found in many bug sprays, and as a neurotoxin, it can kill brain cells. 
  • Researchers studying the toxicity of DEET found that it's not simply a behavior-modifying chemical but also impedes the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme — acetylcholinesterase, a neurotransmitter. 
  • Permethrin is also extremely toxic to all aquatic life. Not only is it hurting the body, but it's also hurting the environment. 
  • The EPA has categorized Permethrin as carcinogenic, meaning it is capable of causing lung and liver tumors, immunity issues, and chromosomal abnormalities. 
  • DEET and picaridin (another common ingredient found in insect repellent) both break down slowly in soil and have the potential to contaminate groundwater. 
  • Large doses of DEET have been linked to skin blisters, memory loss, seizures, skin irritation, and more.

If these insect repellents have the power to not only kill mosquitoes but melt plastic, it's probably not a good idea to use them on your skin! 

The DEET Danger

As mentioned earlier, our skin absorbs over 60 percent of what we put on it. So, when we use these popular commercial repellents, the toxic chemicals that are inside them get soaked up and absorbed into the bloodstream. Once there, they can cause quite a bit of damage. 

What's more, children's skin is much more sensitive than ours, so when we apply chemical-laden products, our littles ones can be plagued with forms of skin irritation, rashes, and blisters. 

For these reasons, many parents are beginning to nix the harsh chemicals in pursuit of all-natural insect repellents — like BuzzPatch to ward off mosquitos and Magic Patch to heal itchy bites.

BuzzPatch is an all-natural revolutionary way to keep pesky mosquitos away from kids and parents alike. Patches infused with kid-friendly essential oils like citronella and lavender, BuzzPatch creates a virtual shield, essentially camouflaging your kiddos from those troublesome pests.

Delete DEET 

So, is DEET safe for kids?

When you take into account all the alarming research that has been done over the years — and the fact that the chemical literally melts plastic — we'd say it's probably not a good idea to use it on your little ones.

When people say that children are sponges, that is true in more ways than one. Our kids soak up information as they learn, play, and grow. But they are also exposed to a worrying amount of chemicals daily—DEET being a common one. 

Here at The Natural Patch Co., we know how important it is to keep kids protected from mosquitoes, but we also know how vulnerable they are to harsh chemicals. That's why we created BuzzPatch— an all-natural, DEET-free, environment-lovin' mosquito repellent patch infused with powerful essential oils that are perfectly safe for your kids. 

 

Sources:

Skin layers | Medline Plus

Is Your Baby's Skin Extra Sensitive? How to Know | Healthline.

Is DEET Bad for You (and Your Kids) | Cleveland Clinic.

How DEET Works | HowStuffWorks

Popular Insect Repellent Deet Is Neurotoxic | Science Daily

Chemicals of Special Concern to Children's Health | Minnesota Department of Health

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