Don’t Let Summer Bugs Bite

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HEALTHWATCH - Insects are a part of nature and most bites or stings result in mild, local reactions; however, some are far more serious. Ticks can infect their hosts with Lyme disease, and mosquitoes can transmit the West Nile virus or Zika virus.

The warmer temperatures of late spring and summer mean more outdoor activities, and that means making sure you and your loved ones are protected against insect bites and stings.

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC:

  • Avoid sweet-smelling sprays, lotions, or hair products when outdoors.
  • When outside, wear insect repellent containing deet, but don’t apply it more than once a day, and don’t use it on children younger than two months.

Never spray repellent directly on your face. Use your hands to apply it there, and avoid the mouth, eyes, ears, along with cuts and irritated skin. Never allow children to handle or apply bug spray. Use soap and water to wash repellent off as soon as you come back indoors. If a rash or other reaction develops, call your health care provider if it’s mild, or call the Poison Control Center for Guidance if it’s severe. If you have concerns about using deet, ingredients such as picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus, and IR3535 are alternatives.

  • If you prefer to go chemical free, hats, closed shoes, long pants tucked into socks, and a long sleeved shirt can help protect you from a variety of insects.

You may come in contact with a variety of crawly critters when you’re enjoying the outdoors. Just be sure you follow the proper prevention tips to protect you and your loved ones.

Sponsored by: Mercy Health System