Prevention of insect bites:
There are many different types of insect repellents, creams, wristbands, oils etc.
The most effective insect repellent is a spray or cream containing DEET. DEET percent ranges from 10-30% and above. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using any product that contains greater than 30% DEET. These products last for 2-5 hours. DEET containing products are safe in children OVER 2 months.
How do I apply DEET insect repellent?
Use caution when applying to the skin of young children. An adult should spray the product on their hands and then gently apply to skin exposed areas avoiding the mouth, eyes, and hands of the child. Apply to the outside of clothing. Avoid open wounds or irritated skin.
Wash skin with soap and water after returning inside and wash all clothes after wearing.
What are other ways to prevent insect bites/stings?
Avoid times of the day when insects are swarming such as sunrise and sunset. Avoid areas of standing water, flower beds, or garbage cans. Avoid wearing perfumes, scented soaps, or hairspray. Wear long sleeve loose fitting clothes and socks and shoes when outside during swarming times.
How do I tell if my child is allergic?
Some children have a local reaction to a bug bite or sting. The area around the bite can become very swollen, warm, and red. This is not an allergic reaction. Apply hydrocortisone cream to the area and the child can have a proper dose of Benadryl. Cool compresses or ice can help relieve swelling.
Signs that the child is having a systemic allergic reaction include vomiting, lip/facial swelling, red hives spreading over the body, difficulty breathing and/or drowsiness/weakness. This is an emergency and you should call 911 immediately.