Spray or Just Pray ? 5 steps for keeping the bugs away this Summer

28 Jul

Muggy Buggy Days of Summer

The Muggy and Buggy days of Summer are upon us. Mosquitos are biting and Ticks are hiding ! Should I spray or just pray. We are hearing this and other questions from parents. But while insects will always be a part of summer there are some steps you can take to make for a safer and fun summer for yourself and your children. It might still be muggy in Fairfield County! However, but here are 5 steps you can take to make for a less buggy summer.

Mosquito Bites

1) Sweat is Better That Sweet

Scented soaps ,shampoos and hair spray is nice. But mosquitoes and other bugs will also be attracted to your child. While outside, the smell of sweat is better than the sweet fragrance of scented soaps

Scented Soaps on Children

2) Sunscreen or Insect Repellent

Combination sunscreen and insect repellent sounds like a good idea since given how efficient that would be. However sunscreen has to be applied continuously and insect repellent is not applied as often. So in this case less is not more. You should buy them as separate products.

Reapply sunscreen often on children

3) To Deet or Not to Deet

Parents often ask whether DEET is safe in children. Well the answer is yes and no. In order to “repel” ticks that can transmit Lyme disease in general, you need repellent containing DEET. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends insect repellent containing 10% to 30% DEET. However this only for children 2 months of age or older.

Timing is Everything

Should you use repellents with 10% or 30% DEET? Well, timing is everything! It depends on how long your child will be outdoors.

If you are going to be out 2 hours or less, 10% lasts 2 hours so you won’t have to reapply.

If you are going to be out 5 hours or less, then you should use 30%, because solutions containing 30% will last up to 5 hours.

Bottom line use the lowest concentration needed for the time your child will be outdoors. You should also make sure your children wash off the repellent once they are indoors.

4) Don’t Let the Screen Be an Open Door.

If you have screens in your home with holes you might as well have a welcome mat for insects to visit you and your children. Go through your home to make sure that your screens don’t have secret pathways to sneak in.

5) Wearing a Hat – Not Just for Winter

We all remember being told by our parents to wear a hat before going out in the winter. Of course now we are repeating the same mantra. But wearing a hat is not just for the winter. Children should be wearing a hat when walking in the woods or near bushes. In addition at night, when mosquitos come out to party, children should wear light long sleeve shirts, pants and socks to reduce the risk mosquito and tick bites.

Of course our namesake, Fireflies, are out in full force. These are, of course, harmless. As long as you take the proper precautions it is okay to sit in the backyard, enjoy the show, and think of us !

Fireflies come out at night, just like Firefly After Hours Pediatrics

Stuart C. Silverstein, MD is the Medical Director of Firefly Pediatric Urgent Care and is the author of Laughing Your Way to Passing the Pediatric Boards.

Stuart Silverstein,MD, FAAP

Comments

comments