Last week we had this reference question: do mosquito repellent bracelets work?
Check with your pediatrician to see what he/she recommends.
Then, if you want to check the literature, the key publication was
Fradin, Mark, M.D., Day, John, M.D. (2002) Comparative Efficacy of Insect Repellents Against Mosquito Bites. (The New England Journal of Medicine, volume 347: 13-18). Don't like footnotes? You can read a synopsis of the results and note what the paper says about bracelets (that they don't work even when they contain an ingredient, Deet, that is effective when used in a spray, towelette or lotion).
Then please look at this chart listing the relative effectiveness of various mosquito repellents, references at the bottom. (This pdf version of the chart is from the Davis County, Utah government site but the data is derived largely from the original Fraden charts.)
Last year BoingBoing had an interesting post about the wording advertisers can, and can't, use.
1. Deet is a plasticizer and will destroy certain plastics and synthetic fabrics so be careful where you spray or rub it it.
2. Zappers aren't very effective, at least against mosquitoes. They kill moths. You can research that one yourself.
This information is in Fradden's Table 1, but is hard to read in the original.
Posted by library at August 1, 2006 02:18 PM
1. Off! Deep Woods (SC Johnson) 200-360
2. Sawyer Controlled Release 180-325
3. Off! Skintastic (SC Johnson) 90-170
4. Bite-Blocker for Kids (HOMS) 16-195
5. Off! Skintastic for Kids (SC Johnson) 45-120
6. Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus (Avon) 10-60
7. Nurapel (Tender) 7-60
8. Herbal Armor microencapsulated 1-55
9. Green Ban for People (Mulgum Hollow Farm) 1-45
10. Buzz Away (Quantum) 5-30
11. Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard (Avon) 1-30
12. Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil (Avon) 1-30
13. Skin-So-Soft Moisturizing Suncare (Avon) 1-15
14. Gone Original Wristband (Solar Gloooow) .017-1.33
15. Repello Wristband (Repello Products) .017-0.63
16. Gone Plus Repelling Wristband (Solar Gloooow).017-.048