Do's and don'ts of using insect repellent on kids

  • Use repellents that contain DEET, but containing levels no more than 30 percent, experts say.

    Use repellents that contain DEET, but containing levels no more than 30 percent, experts say. Getty Images

  • Dr. Shrinal Vyas

    Dr. Shrinal Vyas

 
By Advocate Children’s Hospital
Posted7/14/2019 7:25 AM

With summer in full swing, there is a lot more to worry about than just relaxing by the pool or having a campfire. When the heat comes back, the insects come along with it.

Not only are mosquitoes pests who won't leave you alone when you're trying to relax, but they also can be a danger for your children.

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Many diseases are carried by different insects, such as mosquitoes that carry Zika virus. In addition to viruses, many children are allergic to certain insects, meaning they could be at major risk if they get bit.

The main way people prevent themselves and their children from getting bit is by using insect repellent. However, there are also things to be cautious of when using these repellents.

Here are a few do's and don'ts of using insect repellent on children to avoid being bit, according to Dr. Shrinal Vyas, a pediatrician at Advocate Children's Medical Group.

• Do: Follow the instructions on the packaging of the repellent and only apply to children 2 months or older

• Don't: Spray repellent indoors or around food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Do: Use repellents that contain DEET, but containing levels no more than 30 percent

• Don't: Spray directly on the face

• Do: Make sure an adult applies the repellent to a child, don't allow children to spray themselves

• Don't: Apply the repellent near open cuts or wounds or irritated skin

• Do: Wash hands after using repellent

• Don't: Overuse the repellent, as it can expose the child to higher levels DEET than recommended

It is important to spend lots of time outside during the summer, especially for kids, but nothing is more important than keeping your children safe. Make sure to follow these tips to prevent bug bites and stings all summer.

• Children's health is a continuing series. This week's article is courtesy of Advocate Children's Hospital, which has campuses in Park Ridge and Oak Lawn.

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