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Shield your kids with safe repellents



Summertime means the great outdoors and the potential for the not so great insect bites

repellents, insects, disease, kids, family

Scratch, scratch, scratch. Kids love to scratch their itchy insect bites.  Which is why parents are quick to apply insect repellents before they go outside. However, experts caution parents and caregivers to always read and follow label directions when applying insect repellents.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that all parents adhere to these precautionary statements regarding repellents:

  • Do not allow children to handle insect repellent products, and do not apply to children's hands. When using on children, apply to your own hands and then put it on your child.
  • After returning indoors, wash your child's treated skin and clothes with soap and water or give them a bath.

While they may seem like a healthier alternative, some oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under the age of three. There are no restrictions for use on children under three years of age for certain insect repellent products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus as their sole active ingredient at concentrations of 30% or less.

The use of DEET always comes up, according to the EPA, and their stance is that it is okay for use on children, with no age restriction. Also, there is no restriction on the percentage of DEET in the product for use on children, and there is no data showing incidents that would lead the EPA to believe there is a need to restrict the use of DEET.

Because children frequently put their hands in their eyes and mouths, always store insect repellents safely out of the reach of children.

If you have any concerns about using repellent products on children you can visit the National Pesticide Information Center at http://npic.orst.edu/ or use their toll-free number, 1-800-858-7378.




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