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Insect Repellents Always a Parent's Concern

DEET is the chemical found in most commercial insect repellents and is considered most effective in keeping ticks off your child. The National Institute of Health says applying DEET repellents on your child's exposed skin before going outside to play is one of the best ways to protect them from tick-borne dangers such as the dreaded Lyme Disease.
It's important to know that some people can have adverse reactions to DEET, especially if used improperly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children use products with 10% DEET or less. (Many insect repellents contain much higher percentages, particularly those labeled extra-strength.
According to WEBMD Medical News, you should also follow these precautions:
  • Never use DEET on children under the age of 2.
  • Don't apply repellent in small rooms or enclosed areas.
  • Avoid putting it directly on sores, cuts or wounds.
  • Don't apply it close to the nose, mouth, or eyes, or to kids' hands if there is a chance they might wipe them on their face.
  • Wash children's skin with soap and water when they come back inside.
  • DEET may make sunscreens less effective, so don't let kids out in the sun too long.
    Of course, any insect repellents must be kept out of reach of children.

Some children may be especially sensitive to even small amounts of DEET. If you suspect that your child may be having an adverse reaction -- for instance, if he or she has trouble breathing -- wash the area and get help from your doctor or a poison control center immediately.

Read the next parenting article on toy safety >>
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