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  • Writer's picturechildrens wellness center

Insect and Mosquito Control

Now that the weather is getting warmer, your kids will probably be playing outside more. This is

also the season when there are more insects, including mosquitos. Insect bites can be irritating

and even painful for kids, and in some cases, cause serious illnesses. Luckily, there are several

ways to protect your kids from insect bites during the summer.


Firstly, it's recommended to use an insect repellent product and one that has been registered

by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can use this search tool to find the right one

for your family. Bug sprays with DEET are safe and effective and the amount of concentration of

DEET in the product will indicate how long it will repel insects. The higher the concentration,

the longer the time will be. However, insect sprays that have over 50% DEET do not provide

longer protection. It's best to choose the amount of DEET based on how long your child will

spend outside. 10% DEET is enough to protect your kids for two hours. For children under 2

years old, be more cautious and conservative with the amount you apply.


Another ingredient commonly found in insect repellents is picaridin which is great for

preventing mosquito bites. A concentration of 20% can protect kids for eight to twelve hours.

When applying insect repellent, it's important to read the label and precautions and follow the directions listed on the product. Doing so ensures that you are using the product effectively and

safely. For young children, you should apply the insect repellent yourself. For older children

who can do it on their own, you should supervise them. Keep the repellents stored away where

young children can't grab hold of them to prevent accidental swallowing. When you do spray


your kids, do so in an open area so that your kids don't inhale the chemicals.

Never spray directly on your child's face; instead, spray the repellent on your hand and then rub it on their face while carefully avoiding their eyes and mouth. If your child has any cuts,

wounds, or irritation on their skin, avoid those areas as the insect repellent can make them

worse or cause stinging. You'll also want to avoid spraying repellent on their hands as they may put their hands on their eyes and mouth, which will risk getting the chemicals into those areas.

When your child returns indoors, wash the repellent off with soap and water. If they have any

negative reaction to the repellent, stop using the product immediately and wash their skin. Call

Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 for assistance. And if you go to the doctor's, make sure to bring the repellent with you to the office.


Avoid using repellent products combined with sunscreen as sunscreen needs to be reapplied

every 2 hours and you don't want to expose your children to too much repellent.

In addition to insect repellents, you can also dress your children in clothes that cover most of

their skin to avoid exposure to insects. Choose lightweight clothes in the summer so that your

child doesn't overheat. A hat can also keep bugs away from the face. Bright colors and certain scents from soaps and perfumes can attract insects so these are best to avoid whenever

possible. If you have a deck, porch, or patio, use mosquito nets and fans. Mosquito nets are

also good to use over baby strollers to keep the insects away from your infant. Make sure to

discourage your kids from playing in areas that attract insects, such as near garbage cans,

flowerbeds, bushes, and pools of water.


If you have any concerns or questions about bug and mosquito

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