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Dr. Paco’s Pointers: Avoiding Bug Bites

Bug bites can be a real pain! While most mosquito, fly, and tick bites cause only mild irritation, they can also cause more serious reactions and, rarely, lead to diseases such as Lyme disease. While it’s impossible to prevent every single bug bite, the tips below can help.

  • Avoid areas that attract flying insects. Flying insects like to hang out around garbage cans, stagnant water, and flowerbeds.
  • If your child will be in an area where they are likely to be exposed to insects, have them wear light-weight long pants and long-sleeved shirts, shoes, and socks. If you have a baby, using mosquito netting over their stroller or baby carrier is a good way to protect them.
  • Repair or replace any door or window screens that are broken or have holes in them.
  • Use appropriate insect repellent:
    • Insect repellents that contain DEET are the most effective defense against insect bites. There are a variety of products available that have different amounts of DEET in them, but a safe amount for kids over 2 months of age is between 10-30%. Babies under 2 months of age should not use any products that contain DEET.
    • Apply the bug spray to the outside of your child’s clothes and on exposed areas of skin only. To apply it to their face, put a small amount on your fingers and then rub it on their face, avoiding their eyes and mouth. When they come back inside, wash any areas that have bug spray on them with soap and water, and wash their clothes before they wear them again.
    • Avoid products that are a combination of sunscreen and insect repellent. Sunscreen needs to be re-applied frequently, but applying insect repellent that often can be dangerous.
  • Remember that bug spray does not protect against stinging insects such as bees, hornets, and wasps. This is especially important to remember if your child has an allergy to bees or other stinging insects.

You can find more information about steering clear of these little pests here.

Have questions about bug bites? Feel free to call us!