Safety and Prevention Against Insect Bites

The end of summer means spending as much time outdoors as possible. This increases the chance of getting bitten by insects. These bites irritate your child and can also cause swelling and itching. Peak mosquito season is from June to September, and peak hours for bites are around dawn and dusk. Most mosquito bites are harmless, but bites from mosquitoes carrying certain viruses can cause illness.

Insect repellents can be applied to protect your child. Repellents come in many forms such as sprays and creams, but wristbands are not effective. Repellents are made up of a range of active ingredients, but the most commonly available ingredient is DEET. DEET may be applied to the skin and lasts 2-5 hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend applying repellents on children younger than 2 months old. However, there are natural insect repellents that are safe for younger children, including those with ingredients such as geranium oil and citronella. Click here for more information about insect repellents and other ways to protect your child from insect bites.