Bug Safety and Your Child
Here are some helpful tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help keep your child safe from bugs this summer:
- Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
- Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
- Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.
- To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently back it out by scraping it with a credit card or your fingernail.
- Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products should be avoided because sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, but the insect repellent should not be reapplied.
- Use insect repellents containing DEET when needed to prevent insect-related diseases. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes can transmit Zika,West Nile, Chikungunya Virus and other viruses. Click here for more info: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Insect-Repellents.aspx
- The current AAP and CDC recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age.
- The effectiveness is similar for 10% to 30% DEET but the duration of effect varies. Ten percent DEET provides protection for about 2 hours, and 30% protects for about 5 hours. Choose the lowest concentration that will provide the required length of coverage.
- The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any product you purchase. Children should wash off repellents when they return indoors.
- As an alternative to DEET, picaridin has become available in the U.S. in concentrations of 5% to10%.
- When outside in the evenings or other times when there are a lot of mosquitoes present, cover up with long sleeved shirts, pants and socks to prevent bites.