By: Dr. Green
How can I protect my children from mosquitoes?
Now that summer is here, the mosquitoes are out to feed. Mosquitoes are a huge nuisance and can leave permanent damage if not careful. They can spread many serious diseases such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis through their bites, and these bites can be scratched and picked by our children and lead to scabbing, scarring and various skin infections.
If you want to reduce the population of mosquitoes around your home, you need to make it difficult for mosquitoes to breed. To do this, you first need to empty containers of standing water whether it be old tires, bird baths, flowerpots or old dog bowls. You should also clean out your gutter and drainage pipes to prevent standing water.
Female mosquitoes are the ones that bite your children and they are most active early in the morning and late in the evening. This is the time you should protect your kids as they are heading to outside to play. It also matters how you dress your children, light colored clothes are less attractive to mosquitoes. Also be careful not to put sweet smelling fragrances on your children and that includes lotion.
Last but not least, you need to find a safe and effective mosquito repellent that your children don’t mind you putting on them. The best studied repellent on the market usually contains the active ingredient deet. There have been numerous studies that show deet is very harmful to kids, especially if they digest it. I would not recommend using a repellent that contains deet on young children. Rare allergies and skin irritations are likely to occur when you apply certain lotions or sprays to you children’s sensitive skin. It is best to test the repellent on a small part of your child’s body to see if they are allergic to the repellent. If your child plans on going swimming, you must reapply the repellent every hour or even less. If you happen to use a product that contains deet make sure you thoroughly wash your child at the end of the day.
There are also other products on the market that have been proven to repel mosquitoes using all natural ingredients. The CDC has recommended the use of picaridin and lemon eucalyptus oil. These two ingredients have proven to be as effective as deet in many cases. Families prefer natural products because of their more pleasant smell and feel. There are other products on the market that claim to work such as zappers and sonic devices.. don’t be fooled, they are a gimmick. If you are looking for an all natural product that claims to work don’t purchase it unless they have test results showing the product does what it says.
If you are searching for an all natural repellent that has proven test results click here.
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