One of our favorite things to do as a family is to travel to nearby destinations. Lately, the hot springs of Laguna has been our destination of choice. While I love that Jellybean is developing a love for swimming, the hot springs are also a hotbed for mosquitoes and possible Dengue exposure.
So now, every time we go for an overnight trip I start my mosquito cleansing ritual. Here are my top tips for ensuring a bite-free travel:
1. Bring an old-fashioned katol or mosquito coil for open areas. These are still super effective, but I don’t know how babies would react to them. So make sure that if you light them up, you do it in an open area where there’s a lot of ventilation. BTW, they now come in lighter scents. Lavender is a good choice
2. Don’t forget your plug-in mosquito repellents. These should go in the room where the baby will be sleeping. I’ve been using them since Jellybean was about 6 months old, so I guess they’re fairly safe even in enclosed areas.
3. Citronella rocks. I’m a big fan of citronella and I actually sell these in my store. The smell is something you get used to when you have a kid. I suggest spraying this on linen (the sides of the bed, under the pillows if you don’t mind the smell, and more importantly the curtains — mosquitoes are often hiding here)
4. Use citronella spray to disinfect. Aside from spraying it to prevent mosquitoes, its also a good disinfectant. I usually recycle used baby wipes by washing them with baby soap, spraying a spritz or two of hand sanitizer and then finishing it off with one or two sprays of citronella. I use this concoction to clean the floors. I let my baby walk barefoot on the floor so this is a must for me. It also comes in handy for cleaning the dining table prior to eating (you’ll see less flies when you’re dining when you do this)
5. Citronella candles for the dining area. One of the biggest issues we have when eating in the common areas is the abundance of flies that want to eat with us. Light up one or two citronella candles and you drive away both the flies and the mosquitoes.
6. Anti-mosquito lotion. I guess the most popular brand in the market is Off Lotion. I use the kids version or the clean feel version for my daughter. Avoid getting any into your kid’s eyes and hands (especially if they are still in that stage where they put everything in their mouth). Other cool options are Pigeon’s anti-mosquito wipes and Green Cross’ anti-mosquito lotion.
7. Insect Repellent Patches. I bring a few of these along for good measure. Anti-mosquito lotion usually has a 4-hour effect, patches could give you anywhere from 6 hours to 18 hours of protection. Its best to stick this on your kid’s back so they don’t accidentally reach for it and put it in their mouth.
8. After-bite lotion. If one or two mosquitoes still get at your child, its best to have an after-bite lotion handy. This should get the swelling down fast. Tiny buds has Scratch Off which is pretty effective. Petroleum jelly can also help if you don’t have a product for this particular purpose.
Have a safe, mosquito-free trip!