As mosquito and tick season (aka summer) rapidly approaches, it’s timely to review the safe use of DEET bug spray for kids. These 10 tips are taken from the new book Germ Proof Your Kids – The Complete Guide to Protecting (without Overprotecting) Your Family from Infections (ASM Press, Washington, D.C., 2008). There you’ll also find many other helpful hints for kids’ summer health – whether at home, summer camp, or traveling.
10 Rules for safe and effective use of DEET bug spray:
· The higher the concentration of DEET in the spray or lotion, the longer lasting the mosquito protection.
· Products containing 10% DEET protect for about 2 hours; products with 24% DEET protect for 5 hours. The highest concentration of DEET approved for use in kids is 30%.
· Use at the lowest concentration appropriate for the desired amount of protection.
· Only apply on children once per day.
· Don’t use on infants younger than 2 months of age
· Don’t apply over cuts or wounds
· Thoroughly wash the skin when coming indoors
· Don’t apply the products near kids’ eyes and mouths or to kids’ hands. Apply the spray or lotion to your own hands first, and then rub it onto your child’s skin.
· Don’t use repellent to treat skin that is covered by clothing
· Don’t use combination products of DEET and sunscreen, but separate DEET and sunscreen products can (and should) be used simultaneously