The warm weather is here! As you head outside for the summer, hiking or other outdoor activities may be on your family’s to-do list. But make sure you’re protecting your kids from bugs and creatures that could harm them while playing outdoors. Follow these simple tips for a safe summer!:
• Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child when playing outdoors.
• Avoid areas where insects nest or gather, such as stagnant pools of water or uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
• Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors and flowery prints.
• To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently back it out by scraping it with a credit card or your fingernail.
• Don’t combine sunscreen and insect repellent. Sunscreen needs to be applied every two hours, but the insect repellent should not be reapplied.
• Use insect repellents that contain DEET when needed to prevent insect-related diseases. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitos can transmit West Nile Virus and other viruses.
• 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.