Our Worry-Free Family Holiday Trips with OFF! Lotion

When I was in college, a good friend of mine described me as a worrywart. I was a little bit offended, to be honest, but then I realized it was true. Back then, I worried mostly about two things: how I was doing in school and if my allowance would last the rest of the month.

Now, as much as I’d love to say I have changed, I haven’t.  As a first time mom, I still worry a lot but the focus has definitely changed—my child’s welfare. When my child coughs, I am afraid it might turn to something worse like pneumonia. I fear my child might slip and bump her head when she runs very fast. I get agitated every time I see a mosquito bite on her leg. Oh my gosh! She might have dengue! I observe her for symptoms and breathe a sigh of relief when she’s okay.

Well, I think my worries about mosquitoes are warranted. The mosquito has been quite recently named by the World Health Organization as the deadliest animal in the world. In fact, this alarming video by the National Geographic Channel shows just how deadly these insects are. 

Imagine, every year these seemingly insignificant insects infect millions with malaria  and kill thousands with other diseases they carry.

So, when we went on holiday trips to Palawan and Baguio recently, I didn’t take any chances. I brought something that would make mosquitoes OFF my list of things to worry about.

Our family planned a three-day tour of Puerto Princesa just before Christmas. I was really thrilled because, for the longest time, Palawan has been one of my dream local destinations. However, my elation quickly turned to worry when I realized that Palawan is a malaria risk area.On top of this, dengue is also an ongoing health threat there.

Having had Dengue twice, you could imagine how protective I am of my family, especially my daughter. While my in-laws were arranging the trip, I was busy clicking through travel sites for information about the malaria risk in Puerto Princesa. It turns out that earlier last year, the Department of Health (DOH) raised alarm over the increase in the number of cases and deaths in Palawan due to malaria. I got concerned when one of the cases in the first quarter was from Puerto Princesa. I know it is just one case, but still one too many for a mother’s peace of mind.

I then consulted our family doctor and he prescribed a prophylactic antibiotic. Unfortunately, the medicine is not recommended for children below 8 years old. Alternatively, he suggested we use OFF!® mosquito repellent lotion to ward off mosquitoes. I was happy to heed his advice! I packed OFF!® for Kids for my daughter and OFF!® Overtime for us adults in my toiletry bag.

 OFF!® for Kids  provides  effective and sustained protection against mosquito bites for  up to 3 hours while OFF!® Overtime is good for 8 hours. 

All set!

After an hour flight, we landed safely in Puerto Princesa. We stayed in Palo Alto, a relaxing bed and breakfast inn that offered affordable lodging, a medium sized pool and sumptuous breakfast. We were lucky to get a spacious family loft near the pool area.

I could consider this one of the most eco-friendly inns I’ve been to since they designed it to be surrounded by lots of plants. However, as much as I love the greenery, I was concerned because mosquitoes also consider plants their playground.  So every time we went out, I made certain we were protected from deadly mosquitoes.

For the first day, we went to several local tourist spots, including  the Ramon Mitra Ranch, Baker’s Hill, and The Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. 

This ranch has a scenic view of the city.

Baker's Hill is known for its Hopia Ube. It's really good!

Careful! These young crocs are feisty!

In the evening, before heading out and exploring the city’s hangout and foodie spots, I made sure to put OFF!® For Kids on my daughter.

We strolled around and had a taste of locally made ice cream.
The second day was allotted for a guided tour of Honda Bay. That morning, we had some time to spare before the shuttle  service arrived so I grabbed the opportunity to put on some  OFF!® For Kids lotion on my daughter and just lounge for a bit near the pool.

During the island tour, my daughter really enjoyed being in the water. We also had fun snorkeling and fish feeding. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure if there were mosquitoes on the islands so I opted to be safe than sorry and brought along our insect repellent. As it turns out, there are salty marsh-like areas in the islands which could potentially be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Sunscreen first, OFF!® For Kids lotion next, then the beach!

What can I say? Puerto Princesa is truly beautiful. Our Palawan adventure was  really a trip to remember.

Baguio, the country’s summer capital, is a booming city nestled in the Cordilleras. It has catered to millions of tourists over the years. However, in recent years officials have become more and more alarmed about the increase in dengue cases in the city. As a matter of fact, last year there was a five-fold increase in the number of cases from January to July compared to 2015.

Well, dengue cases in Baguio are much more than statistics to me. I was actually a case myself several years ago. Fortunately, I didn’t need hospitalization but the pain of several needle pricks for blood count and anxiety over my health cannot be described as mild. A younger sister of mine was also hospitalized for several days because of dengue. It was such a stressful experience for our family.

So, when we headed up to Baguio for a quick getaway just after New Year’s Day, I checked if I had my anti-mosquito set in my toiletry bag. Yup, we’re good to go!

My husband’s uncle and his family were in town and wanted their daughter to experience The City of Pines. We left at around 8:30 am and there around noon. The trip was smooth and pleasant. The traffic was light probably because people had already gone back to Manila for work or school.

After lunch and a bit of rest, we were off to see the sights. Our first stop was Wright Park, a popular spot for horseback riding. My daughter was too young to ride a horse but we wanted her to watch people riding horses. We were happy to see her enthusiasm in watching several horses trotting around with their riders. She even shouted “ orse!”  a few times while pointing at them.

We also dropped by other  tourist spots like Mines View Park and Good Shepherd.The next day, it was time to go home. Like most Filipinos, we just had to buy pasalubong (souvenirs or goodies) for family and friends. It was a short but fun trip.

Overall, our family holiday trips were fun and memorable. I am really grateful that we got back home healthy. I’m relieved I didn’t have to worry about us getting malaria or dengue while on holiday, thanks to our trusted mosquito repellent.

However, being in the comforts of our home doesn’t mean we are safe. Disease-carrying mosquitoes remain a threat to our family. A mosquito carrying Zika or dengue virus might be entering our house through an open door or window. It just takes one mosquito bite! Admittedly, I haven't been very consistent in using OFF!® lotion but I know I need to be more proactive about my family's well-being. I cannot be complacent about mosquito protection. Using OFF!® For Kids lotion  on my daughter routinely is one way of making sure she doesn't get sick from dengue or Zika. Also, with OFF!® lotion, we can enjoy many activities like playtime and house chores without being bothered by annoying mosquitoes.

I also need to use OFF!® Overtime regularly so I won't have Dengue again. Being a mom and a wife, I cannot afford to get hospitalized. 

It's a scary world out there.There are many mosquito-borne diseases to watch out for. Keep disease-carrying mosquitoes OFF your family!

How does OFF!® lotion work?

The active ingredient of locally available OFF!® lotion is N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide. Researchers theorize that N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide disrupts the neurons and receptors located on the mosquito’s antennae resulting in ineffective targeting of its victims. 

Are OFF!® mosquito repellents dermatologically tested? Does it come in variants? 

Yes, they are dermatologically tested. The locally available variants are OFF!® Soft& Scented,OFF!® Clean Feel, OFF!® for Kids and OFF!® Overtime.They also come in handy and budget- friendly 6 ml sachets.

These would be perfect for those spur of the moment outings!

How do I use OFF!® lotion safely?*

ü Keep it out of reach from children and pets.
ü Wash hands after applying it on skin.
üDo not apply to eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around ears.
ü Refrain from applying repellent to children’s hands because children often put their hands in their eyes and mouths.
ü Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
ü In case you (or your child) gets a rash or other reactions from the repellent, stop using it, wash it off with mild soap and water, then contact a local poison control center for further guidance.

*Safety tips were based on OFF!® lotion product label and guidelines by the Central for Disease Control (CDC) on the use of mosquito repellents.

Disclosure & Disclaimer: This article is my entry to Nuffnang and OFF! Blog contest. In case I win, I'd get gift certificates. All opinions and thoughts are mine and are based on personal experiences. They are not substitute for professional advice. If in doubt about any piece of information mentioned, please consult appropriate expert.



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