When bugs attack: Avoiding bug bites this summer

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– Zika, West Nile, Lyme Disease… all of these infections can be spread by just one little insect. And while most bites are harmless, the pain of the bite itself can be enough of a cause for concern.

“When McCartney was younger, she would break out and swell up really bad with bug bites. So we tried to keep her in as much as possible,” mom Shylee Wright said.

While staying inside is the best way to keep the bugs off, that’s not always an option. But there are ways to protect yourself and your kids.

“So avoiding the times of day when you’re most likely to be bitten by mosquitoes. So having your kids avoid dusk — you’re going to do better during the hot part of the day. You can also just use clothing as prevention, so a good long sleeve shirt, some pants, those can prevent bites,” pediatrician Jennifer Haggar said.

Of course, bug spray is always recommended.

“I know that people love to use lots of different products, and unfortunately they just don’t work as well as the products that contain DEET {diethyltoluamide}, picaridin, and for some older kids, the lemon of eucalyptus oil can be effective,” Dr. Haggar said.

Dr. Haggar says to avoid products that have combination use as you won’t get the right amount of either protectant.

“Of course we don’t want kids to be uncomfortable,” Dr. Haggar said. “Everyone knows that itch, and having your toddler feel like they’re having a hard night sleeping because they’re uncomfortable. And certainly we try to prevent bug bites to prevent that.”

Be sure to avoid grassy or heavily wooded areas as well. Keeping kids on the playground or the designated path will ensure that they don’t come in contact with extra bugs.

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