Babies-Toddler Vivian | 06 Aug 2010 12:13 pm

Prevent Bug Bites in Children

In the era of the West Nile virus, protection against insect bites is a must. Here are some tips to consider for your next family canoing trip, or an outing to the local park.

Insects are attracted to bright colors, fragrance, and standing water. Therefore, avoid wearing pinks and reds, as well as perfumes and scented lotions when venturing outside. Otherwise, insects might mistake you for a delicious flower and you will get stung numerous times!

Wear insect repellent on uncovered body parts, but avoid the face and hands, especially on children.

Insect repellents with 10% DEET will give protection for up to 3 hours (examples: OFF, Cutter, Avon Skin So Soft) and may be re-applied up to 3 times a day. Of course, wash your the skin after you or your child comes inside.

DEET is the only recommended insect repellent to prevent “West Nile Virus.”

Do not use repellents on babies younger than 2 months of age, and use with extreme caution in older infants.

When bitten by an insect, apply a cold compress to the bite area right away. Benadryl can be administered for itching as well. If swelling, redness, and tenderness persist, or get worse, consult with your health care provider right away. Insect bites may get infected and cause cellulites, infection of the soft tissue surrounding the bite. When that happens the skin looks red, is tender, and hot to the touch. There might be some visible drainage as well. Infection needs to be evaluated and treated promptly by your child’s health care provider.

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