What to know about using insect repellent
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 can carry diseases. Plus, people can be 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 for you and your child to avoid being bit, according to Dr. Shrinal Vyas, a pediatrician at Advocate Children’s Medical Group in Chicago, Ill.:
- Do: Follow the instructions on the packaging of the repellent and only apply to children two months or older.
- Don’t: Spray repellent indoors or around food.
- Do: Use repellents that contain DEET, but containing levels no more than 30%.
- Don’t: Spray directly on the face.
- Do: Make sure an adult applies the repellent to a child. Don’t allow child 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 you to higher levels of 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 you and your children safe.
About the Author
Meghan O’Grady, health enews contributor, is a public affairs intern at Advocate Aurora Health. She is a student at University of Illinois and majoring in Advertising.