Bug Bite Safety

By contactus@amherstpeds.com
April 24, 2017
Tags: bugs   insects   mosquitos   DEET   bug bites   ticks   Lyme  

As the spring & summer seasons approach, let's review some recommendations about bug bite safety. Most bug bites are harmless; however, insects can expose children to disease and health risks. Ticks can spread Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes can spread certain viruses, such as West Nile and Zika.

Here are some simple recommendations that can help lower the risk of getting bug bites:

  • Avoid areas that bugs enjoy - For example: large gardens, areas with uncovered sitting food, and areas with standing water.

  • Limit the amount of standing water (ponds, buckets, birdbaths) in your own yard.

  • Avoid wearing scented lotions, perfumes, and hair products when you're outside.

  • If possible, wear long sleeves and pants when outside in the evening.

The American Academy of Pediatrics  also recommends the use of insect repellents containing DEET for children over the age of 2 months, when needed, to avoid exposure to insect related diseases.

  • Do not use repellent containing DEET on children younger than 2 months of age.

  • Read the label of a repellent before purchasing or using it. Different products contain different amounts of DEET. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends products that contain between 10% and 30% DEET to be applied as directed on the package.

  • The amount of DEET varies in each product. Usually 10% DEET lasts for 2 hours, while 30% DEET lasts for 5-6 hours. Choose the lowest amount of DEET that will provide you the lasting coverage that you need.

  • Wash your child's skin once they come indoors.

  • Products that have bug repellent and sunscreen combined are not recommended. You will most likely need to reapply sunscreen more frequently than you can apply DEET to your child's skin.

  • Remember, bug repellents do not repel stinging insects, such as bees. If your child has a severe allergy to stinging insects, always carry your Epi-Pen.

Most bug bites are harmless. However, you should seek medical attention if:

  • your child develops a fever, rash, joint pain or headaches within 2 weeks of a bite

  • your child has bug bites that look infected (redness, swelling, drainage from the skin)

  • your child develops an immediate rash or reaction to bug repellent.

Let's help our kids enjoy summer without dealing with pesky bug bites!

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