I have a horrible time with sand fleas every time I'm on vacation and hope to put an end to that this year! I know to get off the beach before the sun goes down but any advice on what to apply to myself and a child? Something deet free. I've heard coconut oil, tea tree oil, etc.
I'm badly allergic to DEET. I use Picaridin-based bug sprays and they work great for noseeums/sand fleas and mosquitoes. Brand that work for me are Cutter Advanced, Repel, Natrapel, Off! FamilyCare. I picked up Repel 1 oz. spray pens on Amazon and they are great to travel with. 15% works very well, the Off! version is 5% and is just ok.
DEET is nasty stuff, melts plastic and is not recommended for application on bare skin.
Try Neem from the Neem Tree. It is all natural and worked on the bugs in the Virgin Islands. I found out about it from the owner of the condo we rented. It works on our mosquitoes in Wisconsin and takes away the itch too. It is Deet Free. You can order online or call the really nice lady that answers their order line.