Spring and summer mean more time outdoors. They also mean more bugs, mosquitoes and such. Here are a few things to remember about insect repellents.
The CDC recommends the use of products containing ingredients registered with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Of the products registered, those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus provide longer lasting protection. EPA registration means that the EPA does not expect the product to cause adverse effects to human health or environment.
Repellents containing higher percentages of active ingredients typically provide longer-lasting protection. Reapply according to the label instructions.
Apply repellents to exposed skin and/or clothing. Do not apply under your clothing. Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
Do not apply to eyes or mouth and apply sparingly around ears. When using sprays, do not allow children to spray the product. Spray/apply it to your hands and then put it on the child. Avoid applying repellent to children’s hands as they frequently put their hands in their eyes and mouth.
Use just enough to cover exposed areas. Heavy application does not give you better or longer lasting protection.
After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water or bath. If you get a rash or other reaction from the repellent, stop using it, wash it off and consult medical attention.
Most products are safe for use on children. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of three. The EPA does not recommend any additional precaution for repellent use by pregnant or nursing women. However, always check with your medical provider.
Many products contain sunscreen and insect repellents. It is not recommended to use a single product that combines DEET and sunscreen. There are no specific recommendations for the use of these combination products; however, repellent usually does not need to be reapplied as often as sunscreen should be. If you do use a combination product, have a sunscreen available to reapply.
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