Keep Your Kids Safe from Insects

With warmer weather in sight, many families are spending more time outdoors. This could also mean you and your little ones may be more exposed to bugs and insects while spending time outside! To keep your family safe from stings and bites, take a minute to check out these important safety tips.

• Don’t use perfumes, scented soaps or hair sprays on your child.

• Avoid walking barefoot while on grass.

• Stay away from areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.

• Use insect repellents containing DEET when needed to prevent insect-related diseases. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus and other viruses.

• The current AAP and CDC recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age.

What to Do if Your Child Gets Stung
Most insect bite and sting symptoms usually begin to go away in a day or two and don’t require medical attention. Some kids however, who are allergic to some insect stings, may have more serious symptoms and may require emergency treatment.

Signs of a mild reaction include red bumps, itchiness and mild swelling. If the child was stung and the insect’s stinger is visible, remove it quickly as possible by scraping the skin horizontally with the edge of a credit card or your fingernail. Wash the area with soap and water, and then apply ice to the area to relieve pain and swelling.

A severe allergic reaction can include swelling of the face or mouth, difficulty swallowing or speaking, chest tightness, wheezing, dizziness or fainting. If there are signs of a severe reaction – call 911. If the child is conscious, give him or her dyphenhydramine. If the child has an injectable epinephrine (EpiPen), it should be given.

In addition, seek medical care if the sting or bite is near or inside the mouth, or if the site looks infected (increasing redness, swelling, or pus occurring several hours or longer after the sting or bite).

For more safety guidelines, please visit the Kids Health Patient Education Resource on at:

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