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What is Icaridin

  • Icaridin (formerly known as “picaridin”) is a new topical insect repellent that entered the U.S. market in 2005 and was approved by Health Canada in 2012.
  • Icaridin is considered to be as effective as DEET for offering protection against mosquito and tick bites. The World Health Organization recommends it as a “safe and effective insect repellent for human use”.
  • Icaridin is considered to be the repellent of first choice by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Advisory Committee on Tropical Medicine and Travel for travellers six months to 12 years of age. Products containing up to 20% icaridin are considered to be safe and efficacious.
  • For children, Health Canada currently permits use of up to 10% DEET three times daily for those aged two to 12 years and once a day for children aged six months to two years. By contrast, children aged six months or older are permitted to use up to 20% icaridin. Hence, icaridin is the preferred repellent for this age category, with DEET as a second choice.
  • DEET or icaridin should not be used on infants under the age of six months.
  • In Canada, there are still only a few products that contain icaridin. Check the product label for ingredient information and always carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

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