KidSmart – July 2017

Tips For Protecting Your Family Against Bug Bites

Unfortunately, bug bites are more than just a nuisance. They can trigger allergic reactions in some people, and may transmit diseases like Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. Taking these precautions this summer can help the whole family stay bite-free.

DRAIN THE SWAMP
Walk around your property after rainfall or after watering the lawn and take note of areas that are not draining properly or are catching and holding water in objects like garden buckets, lids and frisbees.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT BUG SPRAY
Lyme Disease expert Dr. Michael Jacobs MD says, “When shopping for insect repellents, look for those with the active ingredients DEET or Picaridin, two of the most effective active ingredients at preventing bug bites. Stronger concentrations of the active ingredient in the formula will give you more hours of protection. For example, a 10 percent DEET or 7 percent Picaridin formula provides one to two hours of protection, while higher concentrations provide protection for eight hours and longer.” Safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women, and a popular choice for families, Natrapel Tick & Insect Repellent uses the CDC recommended 20 percent Picaridin active ingredient and provides up to 12 hours of protection against mosquitoes and ticks. This formula is also safe on gear and comes in variety of sprays and wipes for easy application.

For outdoor enthusiasts, DEET is the best-selling active ingredient in the U.S. For a trusted choice, consider Ben’s Tick & Insect Repellent, the first brand to register a 10-hour, 100 percent DEET formula with the EPA. The brand also offers an eight-hour, 30 percent DEET water-based formula that is made to evaporate slowly — so repellent stays on longer with little absorption into the skin.

COVER UP AND BE SMART
When outdoors, particularly in wooded areas, wear loose-fitting long sleeves and pants. Light colors are a good choice, as mosquitoes seem to prefer darker clothing.

WHY ME?
There are many factors that can make one person more appealing than another to mosquitoes. And some are beyond one’s control, such as blood type and genetics. However, mosquitoes are attracted to sweat, so don’t forget the deodorant.

VACATION OR STAY CATION
Research your destination so you know what types of insects you can expect to encounter. Remember, most species of mosquitoes in the U.S. are busiest at dusk. During those hours, take extra precautions to avoid becoming their meal.

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