Kiddie Pool Digest: Camping for Geeks

Whether you’re a camper or a glamper, this week’s geek campout series is for you.

kiddie pool, parent co summer camp digest

The Kiddie Pool Digest will be back each week with a new fun theme and interesting activities, facts, and bits from around the web for curious kids of all ages.

Go pool hopping: Week 1 | Bees • Week 2 | Swimming • Week 3 | Solstice

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When in comes to the great outdoors there are two types of people: those who rough it and those who glamp it. But what is summer without a good campout? Nature resets something in all of us that needs slowing. It’s a handy serving size of meditative contemplation and it reminds us what the world looks like on the other side of the window. Every kid needs to sleep in a tent, count the stars, and roast some marshmallows at least once. So, whether you’re a camper or a glamper, this week’s geek campout series is for you.


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illustration of mountains and camping

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Fun facts

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Watch & Learn

kiddie pool summer digest for kids, watch and learn
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Stella and Sam-Camping Out Music Video

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7 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius

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The Beauty of Mathematics


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The Towns that Embrace the Darkness to See Starlight


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Jokes for your kids
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Glow Paint Campfire for the Great Out (or In) Doors

kiddie pool summer digest for kids, deep dive
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  1. Red, orange, and blue glow-in-the-dark paint
  2. Mason jars with lids in various sizes.
  3. Water and liquid dish soap and bubble wands.
  4. Black light (optional)

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Fill the mason jars with varying levels of water. You want the levels to be different to make the flames more “natural” (as natural as flames made of water and soap and paint can look).[/su_column] [/su_row]
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Add 1 tsp of dish soap and one squirt of paint per cup of water to each jar. Use the blue paint in the smaller jars that will be in the center of your fire to mimic the hottest part of the flame. Use red and orange paint for the larger jars which will be the base of your fire.[/su_column] [/su_row]
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Stir gently and replace lids. Now circle up your jars, stacking the smallest jars on top and in the middle to resemble a fire.
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Turn the lights off if you’re inside and flip on that black light if you’ve got one. If you’re outside, enjoy the chemical ambiance. Sit back and relax.
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[su_row][su_column size=”1/4″][/su_column] [su_column size=”3/4″]Bonus! When the kids get bored (which of course they will because…kids), unscrew the lids, grab the bubble wands and let them blow some glow in the dark bubbles in the great outdoors.
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Covet & Collect


kiddie pool summer digest for kids, covet and collect products

Glow Paint


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Family Fun S’Mores Maker


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pop up camping tent for indoor camping

Pop Up Camping Tent


fishing campfire stick

Fishing Poke Campfire Roaster

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Get your groove on

kiddie pool summer digest for kids, music playlist

  1. “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver
  2. “Frog Trouble” by Dwight Yoakam
  3. “Be the Lake” by Brad Paisley
  4. “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show
  5. “Heavenly Day” by Patty Griffin
  6. “The Time of Your Life” by Randy Newman (from A Bug’s Life)
  7. Down in the Valley” by The Head and the Heart
  8. “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty
  9. “The Travelling Kind” by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
  10. “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay

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 Page Turners

kiddie pool summer digest for kids, books

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping

by Melanie Watt

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A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee

by Chris Van Dusen

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Goodnight, Campsite

by Loretta Sponsler

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kiddie pool summer digest for kids, stars

kiddie pool constellation virgo

Virgo is the second largest constellation and appropriate for all the geeks out there as it makes up the most common astrological sign for the world’s top billionaires according to Forbes. Virgos are known for their intelligence, hard work and practicality.

Find Virgo yourself!

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star walk


Star WalkStar Walk for Kids: Learning Astronomy and Space 

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Go Pool hopping!

Click a tile below to check out a past digest

kiddie pool solstice

Celebrate Solstice

Kiddie Pool summer digest, save the bees world environment day

Have a BEE – autiful World Environment Day!

Kiddie Pool summer digest, swimming pool

Swimming! Into the Deep End

Are Your Summer Camp Choices Gender-Biased?

“Let’s enroll her in a sports camp this summer,” my husband recently suggested during dinner. I was surprised at his comment, since the subject had never come up before.

“I’m not certain our 10-year-old daughter would be comfortable in a camp with several boys and only a handful of girls,” I said.

“I think that’s the point. We want to teach her that she is capable of interacting with boys in an environment that is out of her comfort zone. You talk a lot about the importance of equal gender rights. Well, enrolling her in this camp is the best way to teach her how much boys and girls can accomplish doing an activity or sport together.”

Our conversation made me consider the choices I’ve made for my child in selecting a summer camp. For starters, I’ve mainly focused on her interests: art, crafting, and baking. Last year I placed her in a painting/sculpture camp for a week with other girls about her age. A good friend of mine also enrolled her 10-year-old, so the drop-offs were easy.

My daughter adored the projects: painting with watercolors, assembling figures from papier-mâché, and sculpting a heart with the letters l-o-v-e embedded in it. She displayed her finished works with a smile and we took pictures as if she were debuting her own personal art show at a gallery in New York.

The following week, I thought I was creating balance when I enrolled her in a summer camp where she played tennis. Because she had already attended the camp before, she gravitated toward her old set of friends, and loved feeling comfortable. But I wonder now if I made a mistake in only considering the social perspective of her camp experience. Perhaps in choosing a “feminine” fit for her summer camp, I lost the chance to teach her that she is capable of participating in activities traditionally reserved for boys only.

After all, my daughter sees discrimination on a daily basis through the differentiation in how toys are marketed to boys and girls. A study by sociologist Carol J. Auster and Claire S. Mansbach revealed profound gender bias in their sobering analysis of toy sales: “Bold colored toys, predominantly red, black, brown, or gray toys, and those that were action figures, building toys, weapons, or small vehicles typified toys for ‘boys only’ on a Disney store website. Pastel colored toys, predominantly pink or purple ones, and those that were dolls, beauty, cosmetics, jewelry, or domestic-oriented typified toys for ‘girls only.'”

While seeing that information in print is startling, I would hate for my daughter to think that an activity is only for boys, or only for girls. But aren’t I guilty of the same kind of bias, by focusing on arts, cooking, and theater camps, while neglecting to push her toward coding, science and, sports camps? Isn’t summer camp the best way for girls to be introduced to engineering, architecture, and baseball?

I suspect the decisions I’ve made for my child are a reflection of my background. My immigrant parents tried their best to navigate the terrain of a new continent and pushed me to learn how to cook and sew, but never emphasized the importance of sports. They didn’t encourage me to play outside — instead I was warned, “It’s too dangerous. Don’t you want to play indoors and work on coloring or crafts?”

I understand now that their choices were born more out of caution than a real thought-out plan to keep my interests separate from those of boys.

I think the real reason I decided to enroll my daughter in female activity-biased summer camps was because I wanted to give her a social cushion, so she wouldn’t have to struggle to work through the awkwardness of doing something outside of her comfort zone. I was more concerned with the questions: “Will she like it? Is she comfortable? Does she have a friend?”  

It’s not a bad way of looking at life, it’s just a short-sighted one.

Developing awareness is where change can take root. The talk with my husband pushed me to consider how narrow-minded I was in sheltering my daughter from exploring interests and interacting with boys and girls her age. Because the kind of summer I wish for my child to experience — thinking, reflecting and expanding her world —  is one that isn’t girl or boy specific, but instead is one that cultivates a love of learning.

So this summer, we’re signing her up for sports camp. Because we want to equip our daughter for success — and there’s no better way to do that than to show her that when it comes to gender equality, her parents don’t feel a bias, and therefore, neither should she.

37 ingenious summer learning resources for your kids

Kids lose 22% of their academic skills over the summer. Help them avoid the dreaded summer slide with these top-rated apps, websites, books, clubs, and camps.

Teachers often joke about clearing out the cobwebs at the beginning of each school year. Some call summer learning loss the “summer slide “or “brain drain”, and research shows kids do indeed lose approximately 22% of their academic skills over the summer.

According to the Summer Learning Association, kids score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer vacation. Most kids lose about two months of math computation skills over the summer, while kids who don’t participate in summer reading can lose up to two months of reading achievement.

Aside from loss of academic skills, many kids also experience summer weight gain from lack of physical activity. According to the American Journal of Public Health, most kids gain weight more rapidly over summer break. Kids gain body mass index (BMI) nearly twice as fast during the summer as during the school year.

The good news is there are tons of fun ways to keep kids engaged in learning and outdoor play during the summer. Here’s a comprehensive guide to a variety of learning opportunities and activities to personalize your child’s summer experience and keep their brains and bodies active all summer long.



DIY Summer Camps, Ages 7-16

Kids earn skills badges by completing different camps, such as cooking, movie making, outdoor adventures, bookbinding, comic book making, lego building and more. Each DIY camp lasts four weeks. Instructors post daily videos, and kids can post as little or as often as they like. First camp costs $10. Subsequent camps cost $39. Parents can track progress and view projects, and kids names are kept private. There are no chat options on this site.

Brain Chase Challenge, Ages 6-16

This five-week challenge begins June 22. Kids compete in a real-life treasure hunt for the chance to win $10,000. Completing an hour of academic work a day unlocks animated videos and clues. Brain Chase partners with some of the best academic resources on the web, such as Khan Academy, Rosetta Stone and credentialed writing instructors. It’s a fun way to keep math, reading, writing and foreign language skills up over the summer! You can learn more in this recent Parent Co. interview with Brain Chase.

Khan Academy, Ages 5-18

Khan Academy offers a range of subjects online for free. Kids learn at their own pace, and parents can track progress. Subjects include math, science, coding, history, art history, economics and more. Khan Academy partners with institutions, such as NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences and MIT to provide state of the art content. Kids learn through practice exercises and instructional videos. One advantage to using Khan Academy is it can be accessed all year long.

Virtual Tours, All Ages

Take a virtual tour of a museum without leaving your home! Enjoy a 360 degree view of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Go on a panoramic tour of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. Interact with the flight deck of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Travel to locations all over the world through 360 degree interactive views.

Science House App, Ages 4-18

Science House is a free science app that includes over 80 science lessons and videos. These inexpensive experiments will inspire curiosity and inquiry in your kids.

Duolingo App, Ages 4 and up

Learn a foreign language for free! There are up to 11 languages to choose from with this app rated App of the Year by Apple in 2013. Great for parents too!

Code Academy, Ages 12 and up

Learn to code for free. This online program is for beginner coders or aspiring computer programmers. Covers HTML/CSS, jQuery, Javascript, Python, PHP, Ruby and APIs. Courses range from 3-13 hours. It’s a great way for both kids and parents to learn more about coding.

Today Box, Ages 4-10

Today Box is a non-commercialized site for kids, parents and educators that hosts highly-curated content safe for curious kids. Explore videos on animals, nature, art, music, active play, robots, space, STEM and more. Head to the grown-up blog for activities and reviews of books and apps. Pro Tip: Make the site a homescreen app on your phone or iPad for easy kid access.

Virtual College Tours, Ages 14-18

Do you have a teenager looking at colleges? Introduce them to virtual college tours, where they can check out campuses across the United States for free. Teens can view video tours, manipulate interactive maps and take mobile walking tours.



TinkerLab for Mini Makers and Inventors, Ages 2 and up

TinkerLab ranks as one of the top 25 creative mom blogs by Circle of Moms. Rachelle Doorley, an arts educator and parent., posts tinkering projects and ideas on TinkerLab. The site is easy to navigate as projects are listed visually and alphabetically by category. Participate in the tinkering sketchbook challenge, build a Rube Goldberg machine, fly a tea bag hot air balloon or get messy in the kitchen!

Make a Kid Tinkering Kit, Ages 6 and up

Put together the perfect tinkering kit for the summer, so your kids can build and tinker to their hearts content. The blog Katydid and Kid: Adventures in Making and Doing has an excellent guide to putting together a tinkering kit. Many of the items you probably already have around your home. This kit is designed by a mom, blogger, and former artist, museum educator and arts educator. Her site also includes lots of fun tinkering activities for kids.

Seedling Kits, Ages 3-12

Imagine, explore and create with playful and affordable activity kits from Seedling. Shop by price, age or theme. Make a superhero cape, invent your own insects, design a pirate ship, sew a dino(sew), and more! Great for a rainy day or summer travel!

Hatch Early Learning STEM Kits, Ages 2-5

This company sells STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Kits designed specifically for preschoolers. Kits help kids learn about gravity, volume, engineering, robotics and more at a developmental level appropriate for kids ages 2-4. Buy kits or get ideas for making your own.

Lakeshore Learning STEM Kits, Ages 5-14

Buy real-world challenge kits to stimulate your child’s STEM skills. This site allows parents to search by age, price and topic making it easier to see what’s available. Kits include water play, fairy-tale problem solving and engineering. These kits are perfect for a rainy summer day or outdoor play.

Makers Camp, Ages 13-18

This free online digital camp is for kids who love to hack, tinker, build and discover. Camp runs six-weeks from July 6 – August 14. This site uses Google Hangout and virtual field trips, so we suggest it’s more appropriate for middle school or high school. Campers also get instructions for making their own DIY projects at home. Last year’s camp included a hangout with the White House Executive Chef and a live assembly of a telescope at NASA.

Brit Kits, Ages 12-18

Brit + Co. sells DIY and design projects perfect for teenagers and parents. Design a cheeseboard, learn to letterpress or design your own leather lamp. Parents might like etching their own champagne flute or whiskey tumblers. Brit + Co. also offers great prices on online classes like calligraphy, sewing, jewelry making, sketching and more at just $19.99.

Carolina STEM and Inquiry Kits, Ages 12-18

These kits are perfect for keeping middle school and high school students engaged in building STEM skills over the summer. Parents and kids can search by topic or grade level on this site. Experiment with solar water heating, urine purification, balloon rockets, wind power, the circulatory system and more.

STEMfinity Summer Camps, Ages 6-18

STEMfinity makes kits for various STEM courses lasting about 12 hours. Kits include instructions, lessons, suggested schedules, as well as all the materials needed. Tinker with robotics, circuits, build your own roller coaster, develop your painting skills, explore the ocean, learn about farm to table and more. If you’re not looking for a summer-long course, there are STEM kits under $100 as well.



This Book Was a Tree, Ages 2 and up

The best part about summer is spending time outdoors! Each chapter of science teacher Marcie Cuff’s book encourages kids and families to reconnect with nature. We love the simplicity of design and the detailed illustrations of this book, as well as the outdoor activities. Touch, collect, document, sketch, analyze, explore, and unravel the natural world. Make mud-pies, build forts, sketch maps, make natural bug repellants, create sundials and more. You can find a more detailed review of Cuff’s book here.

Nature Rocks: Let’s Go Explore, Ages 2 and up

This site by the Nature Conservancy features tons of activities that encourage kids and families to spend more time outdoors. Activities are divided up by age, location, weather and time in order to make it easy to navigate the site. Activities include making an outdoor xylophone, creating a fairy village garden, outdoor obstacle courses, growing vegetables, star gazing, bird watching and more.

National Park Service Junior Ranger Programs, Ages 5-13

Do you have a National Park near you? Are you planning to visit any this summer? You might want to check out this free program that encourages kids to complete learning challenges and activities in the parks, share their learning with park rangers and earn a Junior Ranger badge and certificate. Can’t get to a park? Check out web rangers, a site where kids can virtually explore and hike the parks, earn rewards and learn about the parks through online activities.

Outdoor Games for Kids, All Ages has a lengthy list of outdoor activities perfect for a party or outdoor fun. Try yoga with your dog, nature tic-tac-toe, making your own Frisbee, have a watermelon seed spitting contest, have a phonic scavenger hunt and more. Each activity includes instructions and reviews.

Volunteer Match, Ages 14 and up

Summer is a great time for teenagers, parents and families to get out and volunteer some time out in the community. Volunteer Match helps match volunteers with organizations based on interests and location. It’s also a great way for teenagers to learn about other fields they might be interested in pursuing in the future like education, healthcare, nonprofit work, museum studies and more.



Kids Skate Free, Ages 12 and under

Roller skating burns 330-600 calories per hour, and it’s a fun way to get some aerobic exercise into your family’s day. It also helps build balance and flexibility in kids. Check out this national program to see if there’s a skating rink near you that participates in the Kids Skate Free program.

Kids Bowl Free, Ages 12 and under

This national program allows kids to play up to two games in the bowling alley for free per day. Parents will need to cover the cost of bowling shoes only. Check out the link above for a participating bowling alley near you!

Museums on Us, For Parents

If you’re experiencing a rain summer day, why not walk around a museum and feed your brain a little culture? If you’re a Bank of America customer, enjoy free entrance to over 150 museums and cultural institutions across the United States on the first full weekend over every month this summer and year round. Each cardholder gets one free admission, and many of these museums are free for younger kids. You can find a full list of participating institutions here.

Summer Reading, Writing and Publishing


Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, Ages 5-12

This free summer reading challenge encourages kids to read books and log their progress over the summer for the chance to win virtual prizes. The contest runs from May 4 through September 4.

Summer Reading Lists, Ages 5-14

Visit your local library and check out some of these books recommended by the Association for Library Service to Children. Lists are divided by early education, elementary, and middle school.

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading, Ages 5-12

Kids read eight books and log progress in a reading journal. Once kids have read eight books, they can choose a free book from the Reading Journal List at any Barnes and Noble Store. Parents can also pick up a free summery activity kit at the store. The program includes suggested summer reads broken down by age level.

TD Bank Summer Reading Program, Ages 5-11

Are you a TD Bank customer?  If your child reads and logs ten books this summer, they can receive $10 in a new or existing Young Saver account.

Neighborhood Book Clubs, Ages 5-18

Start a neighborhood book club! PBS Parents has helpful tips for starting a book club with kids.

Young Adult Summer Reading List, Ages 12 and up

Mashable put together a list of 23 young adult books for summer reading that both teenagers and adult fans of YA literature will love.

Make Your Own Comics, Ages 6 and up

Learn how to make and publish your own comics for free with Bill Zimmerman. There are helpful resources for parents, educator and English Language Learners too.

Time 4 Writing, Ages 6 and up

This online writing resource features four-week online writing courses for elementary, middle and high school students. Students learn on a virtual campus with certified writing teachers and work at their own pace.

Scribblett, Ages 4 and up

Design, illustrate, write and publish your work using Scribblett. Kids can also enter contests, order hard copies of notecards or books featuring their work and share directly on the site.

Taking a trip and looking for even more ideas and reviews for online learning or education apps this summer? Check out this summer learning guide from Common Sense Media.


Is bug repellent safe for kids? Plus, suggestions for what works.

Like many parents, I’ve never been convinced that chemical insect repellents are truly safe to use on my kid. DEET, in particular, creeps me out – once I accidentally sprayed some on a metal door, and the paint on the door immediately blistered up and peeled off.

DEET can irritate skin, but my primary concern was that it might bioaccumulate and cause neurotoxicity or cancer over time. I didn’t know if there was any basis to my fears, so I spent several hours researching my concerns. This is what I found.

Summary: What Actually Works

  • The repellents proven most effective are DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • DEET and picaridin are most recommended by health organizations in areas where mosquito-borne illnesses occur
  • There’s extensive evidence showing that they’re safe for humans when used properly.
  • However, a majority of parents (including me) have doubted this.
  • The percentage of active ingredient in bug repellent doesn’t measure its strength, but how long it’s effective over time.
  • Lower percentage repellents don’t repel bugs for as many hours as higher percentage repellents.
  • Lower percentage repellents need to be reapplied more often; products with less than 10% active ingredient offer  1–2 hours of protection (perfect for playing in the backyard after dinner, for example).
  • Consumer Reports says that “Repellents reach the maximum duration of effectiveness at 30%, so there’s no reason to exceed that level.”
  • Many repellents say they’re “EPA-Approved.” This doesn’t mean that the EPA says they’re effective, only that they’re safe to use.
  • Repellents do not protect all users equally and have varying effectiveness against different species of biting insect
  • Dealing with ticks is a bit different from dealing with flying insects; recommendations on ticks below.
  • Using a minimal amount of repellent based on the local environment and reapplying as needed is the safest bet.
  • Lotions last longer than sprays.
  • Sprays can be applied to clothing, where they’re effective longer than on skin.
  • Where insect-borne disease such as malaria, West Nile virus, or Eastern Equine Encephalitis is common, the danger from those serious illnesses is vastly greater than getting sick from insect repellents.

What I Do For My Kid & Why

Since insect-borne disease isn’t common where I live, DEET-free Cutter Eucalyptus Insect Repellent spray is what I usually use on my kid.

It’s the highest-rated natural insect repellent on It’s based on oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is the most effective “natural” repellent – as effective as 7 – 10% concentrations of DEET. This means it has to be reapplied every 2 hours or so.

The CDC has recommended oil of lemon eucalyptus for children older than 3 in regions without malaria or West Nile virus. However, it isn’t super effective against sand flies or no-see-ums.

If my kid is away from the family and outside all day (for example, at day camp), I use Fisherman’s Formula Sawyer Picaridin, which was recently top-rated by Consumer Reports. I only use it on her exposed skin.

I’ve also had good luck with Natrapel picaridin wipes.

Picaridin is registered in over 40 countries worldwide and has been shown to be as effective as DEET, but without the smell, oily residue, or potential irritation to skin and eyes. Unlike DEET, picaridin won’t warp, melt, or discolor plastics and synthetic clothing or camping gear.

The World Health Organization recommends picaridin for malaria prophylaxis, saying  it “demonstrates excellent repellent properties comparable to, and often superior to, those of the standard DEET.”

Picaridin is a synthetic compound based on compounds from black pepper plants. It was developed in the 1980’s, is widely in Europe and Australia, and became available in the US in 2005. It’s rated as the longest lasting repellent with up to 14 hours of protection.

It works against mosquitoes and variety of flies, chiggers, and gnats. While manufacturers claim it’s effective against ticks, I haven’t found any third-party study that confirms this. (Indeed, even DEET seems to have a minimal effect against ticks.)


Here’s what you need to know about repelling ticks:

  • There are several types of ticks that spread several types of disease.
  • Only deer ticks transmit Lyme disease.
  • You have 24 hours to find and remove most ticks before they transmit disease.
  • Always check yourself and your kids thoroughly after outdoor adventures. Fair warning: ticks love to crawl up into warm, hidden places.
  • In infested areas, tucking your pants into your socks is dorky but highly effective for keeping ticks from biting.
  • Wearing smoother, light-colored tightly woven fabrics makes it easier to spot ticks vs densely woven fabrics like wool.
  • DEET and Picaridin are fairly poor tick repellents.
  • CDC recommends using products with 20% DEET on exposed skin to reduce biting by ticks.

About Permethrin

  • The most effective commonly available tick repellent is permethrin.
  • Permethrin must be sprayed on clothes. Never spray it directly on skin.
  • Allow 24-48 hours for clothes treated with permethrin to dry after spraying.
  • In infested ears, shoes, shorts, and pants treated with permethrin, and socks treated from the ankles up are recommended, along with DEET on skin.
  • Commercially-treated permethrin-coated clothes can last up to 70 wash cycles and are recommended for heavily tick-infested areas.


When applied as directed, DEET is considered safe by most public health organizations. But concerns endure. In Vermont I choose not to use it. I would use it if I was traveling in an area infested with malaria or other insect borne diseases. The danger of those diseases is greater than the risk from normal use of DEET.

  • Consumer Reports writes that DEET in high concentrations can cause rashes and disorientation.
  • Rare allergic, or toxic reactions have been reported for people with chemical sensitivity.
  • Nearly all of the DEET that is taken in through the skin is eliminated by the body within 24 hours of applying it.
  • Disconcertingly, DEET can warp or discolor some plastics and synthetic fabrics.
  • The EPA found “no toxicologically significant effects in animal studies
  • According the the EPA, DEET is “not classifiable as a human carcinogen”, which means that there is not enough evidence to say that it does or does not cause cancer.
  • The EPA says it has “no evidence that DEET is uniquely toxic to infants and/or children, “but still had “concerns regarding these reported seizures”
  • The Canadian government recommendations limit DEET to 30% in any product and even weaker concentrations for young children (Canada 2012).

Non-chemical ways to avoid getting bitten by bugs:

  • Scented shampoo, soaps, sprays and lotions seem to attract biting insects.
  • Likewise, brighter colors seem to attract insects.
  • Wear a brimmed hat to keep bugs away from the face.
  • Wear tall light colored socks to make spotting ticks easy.
  • Use mosquito nets over strollers and carriers where your baby may be exposed to insects.


  • Pesticides and chemicals and general are more toxic for kids than adults because of greater surface area to body weight ratio
  • Never use any insect repellents on a baby less than two months old. (via the American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • Repellents based on lemon eucalyptus shouldn’t be used on kids younger than 3, because they haven’t been thoroughly tested on them.
  • Don’t apply bug repellent under clothing.
  • Never use products that combine repellent and sunscreen. Sunscreens should be lathered on frequently, bug spray is safest used minimally.
  • The CDC recommends applying sunscreen first, then insect repellent.
  • Keep in mind that sunscreen and bug repellent lose effectiveness when blended.
  • Don’t allow kids to apply bug repellents to themselves.
  • Don’t put repellents on the palms of kids. Apply to your hands and then apply to the child’s skin.
  • Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin. Heavy application isn’t necessary for effectiveness. Simply apply a bit more repellent if it isn’t working effectively enough.
  • Do not spray onto face; spray on hands then apply to face.
  • Never use repellents on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • Some kids have sensitive skin, which will be irritated by any insect repellent.
  • Do not put in eyes and mouth (I know you knew that)
  • Apply sparingly around ears.
  • Don’t let residue build up overnight. Wash skin with soap and water or bathe at the end of the day.
  • Pregnant women should take care to avoid exposures to repellents as much as possible.
  • Keep repellents out of the reach of children.
  • Do not spray in enclosed areas.
  • Avoid breathing in bug spray.
  • Don’t spray near food.

Contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378