Guest blogger Jamie Smith, ISU Environmental Rating Scale Assessor, continues to help us prepare for summer with the second of two timely posts this week!
We’re getting close! Those sunny summer days are just around the corner! With more outside time, it’s important to take a moment to review the use of insect repellent and ways to decrease mosquito presence in your play areas.
Prevent Mosquito Bites
The DARE Method for using insect repellent spray
- DEET: concentration should not exceed 30% when being used with children.
- Avoid: products that are both sun screen and bug repellent. The insect repellent can decrease the effectiveness of the sunscreen.
- Range of Age: all repellent must be approved for use in the child’s age range. If a parent provides an insect repellent for their two year old that is labeled for use with children 3 yrs. and older, request a physician’s permission prior to use.
- Essential oils: be sure to get information on how to correctly apply, how often to apply, and look for any side effects. Citrus oils can increase sun sensitivity.
Also, wear light-weight long sleeved shirts and long pants to help prevent mosquito bites. The less skin that is exposed, the lower the chances of mosquito bites.
Avoid attracting mosquitoes
- Mow the yard and clear brush and leaves frequently.
- Check the sand toys (buckets, shovels), slide exits, low-lying areas of the yard, flower pots, garden, driveway, etc. to ensure that no standing water is present.
Treat Bug Spray as a Medication
- Obtain written parent (but not physician) consent for each child
- Keep all insect repellents out of the reach of children
- Document each time repellent is used
Kara Wall, Community Health Nurse with Visiting Nurse Services, recommends Caring for Our Children for information on insect repellent as well as dealing with ticks.
Valuable insect repellent information can be found in Healthy Children, sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Do you have tried-and-true method for applying insect repellent? If you live in a heavily-wooded area, what do you do to prevent ticks and bug bites?