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Tips of the Week for July, 2018

Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child
07-16-2018

 

Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child

 

Mosquitoes, biting flies, and tick bites can make children miserable. While most children have only mild reactions to insect bites, some children can become very sick.

One way to protect your child from biting insects is to use insect repellents. However, it’s important that insect repellents are used safely and correctly.

Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about types of repellents, DEET, using repellents safely, and other ways to protect your child from insect bites.

Types of Repellents

Insect repellents come in many forms, including aerosols, sprays, liquids, creams, and sticks. Some are made from chemicals and some have natural ingredients.

Insect repellents prevent bites from biting insects but not stinging insects. Biting insects include mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and biting flies. Stinging insects include bee​s, hornets, and wasps.​​Available Insect Repellents - Chart

NOTE: The following types of products are not effective repellents:

  • Wristbands soaked in chemical repellents

  • Garlic or vitamin B1 taken by mouth

  • Ultrasonic devices that give off sound waves designed to keep insects away

  • Bird or bat houses

  • Backyard bug zappers (Insects may actually be attracted to your yard). ​

About DEET

DEET is a chemical used in insect repellents. The amount of DEET in insect repellents varies from product to product, so it’s important to read the label of any product you use. The amount of DEET may range from less than 10% to more than 30%. DEET greater than 30% doesn’t offer any additional protection.

Studies show that products with higher amounts of DEET protect people longer. For example, products with amounts around 10% may repel pests for about 2 hours, while products with amounts of about 24% last an average of 5 hours. But studies also show that products with amounts of DEET greater than 30% don’t offer any extra protection.

The AAP recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger th​an 2 months.

Tips for Using Repellents Safely

Dos:

  • Read the label and follow all directions and precautions.

  • Only apply insect repellents on the outside of your child’s clothing and on exposed skin. Note: Permethrin-containing products should not be applied to skin.

  • Spray repellents in open areas to avoid breathing them in.

  • Use just enough repellent to cover your child’s clothing and exposed skin. Using more doesn’t make the repellent more effective. Avoid reapplying unless needed.

  • Help apply insect repellent on young children. Supervise older children when using these products.

  • Wash your children’s skin with soap and water to remove any repellent when they return indoors, and wash their clothing before they wear it again.

Dont's:

  • Never apply insect repellent to children younger than 2 months.

  • Never spray insect repellent directly onto your child’s face. Instead, spray a little on your hands first and then rub it on your child’s face. Avoid the eyes and mouth.

  • Do not spray insect repellent on cu​ts, wounds, or irritated skin.

  • Do not use products that combine DEET with sunscreen. The DEET may make the sun protection factor (SPF) less effective. These products can overexpose your child to DEET because the sunscreen needs to be reapplied often.

Reactions to Insect Repellents

If you suspect that your child is having a reaction, such as a rash, to an insect repellent, stop using the product and wash your child’s skin with soap and water. Then call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 or your child’s doctor for help. If you go to your child’s doctor’s office, take the repellent container with you.

Other Ways to Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

While you can’t prevent all insect bites, you can reduce the number your child receives by following these guidelines:

  • Tell your child to avoid areas that attract flying insects, such as garbage cans, stagnant pools of water, and flowerbeds or orchards.

  • Dress your child in long pants, a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, socks, and closed shoes when you know your child will be exposed to insects. A broad-brimmed hat can help to keep insects away from the face. Mosquito netting may be used over baby carriers or strollers in areas whe​re your baby may be exposed to insects.

  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints because they seem to attract insects.

  • Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes, or hair sprays on your child because they may attract insects.

  • Keep door and window screens in good repair.

  • Check your child’s skin at the end of the day if you live in an area where ticks are present and your child has been playing outdoors.

  • Remember that the most effective repellent for ticks is permethrin. It should not be applied to skin but on your child’s clothing.

​​
 
Last Updated
 
3/1/2017
Source
 
A Parent's Guide to Insect Repellents (Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics, Reaffirmed 3/2016)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

All information provided by HealthyChildren.org.

Prevent Child Deaths in Hot Cars
07-10-2018

 

Prevent Child Deaths in Hot Cars

 
 
​​

​A child left in a hot car can die of heat stroke very quickly. But this tragedy can be prevented. Here are some facts about hot cars and keeping kids safe.

Facts about Child Heat Stroke in Cars

  • Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children under 15.
  • Heat stroke can happen when the body is not able to cool itself quickly enough.
  • A child's body heats up three to five times faster than an adult's does. 
    • When left in a hot car, a child's major organs begin to shut down when his temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
    • A child can die when his temperature reaches 107 degrees F.
  • Cars heat up quickly! In just 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees F.
  • Cracking a window and/or air conditioning does little to keep it cool once the car is turned off.
  • Heat stroke can happen when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees F.

Set Reminders!

Any parent or caregiver, even a very loving and attentive one, can forget a child is in the back seat. Being especially busy or distracted or having a change from the usual routine increases the risk. Here are some things you can do to prevent the unthinkable from happening to your child:

  • Always check the back seat and make sure all children are out of the car before locking it and walking away.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, especially cell phone use.
  • Be extra alert when there is a change in your routine, like when someone else is drivingyour child or you take a different route to work or child care.
  • Have your child care provider call if your child is more than 10 minutes late.
  • Put your cell phone, bag, or purse in the back seat, so you check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.
  • If someone else is driving your child, always check to make sure he has arrived safely.

Lock Your Car!

Keep your car locked when it is parked to prevent a curious child from entering when no one is around. Many hot car deaths have occurred when a child mistakenly locks himself inside. Here are some reminders for parents and caregivers:

  • Make sure children do not have easy access to your car keys. Store them out of a child's reach.
  • Teach children that cars are not safe places to play.  
  • Keep rear fold-down seats closed to prevent a child from crawling into the trunk from inside the car.
  • Remind children that cars, especially car trunks, should not be used for games like hide-and-seek.

Important Tip: If a child is missing, always check the pool first, and then the car, including the trunk!

Take Action if You See a Child Alone in a Car!

Protecting children is everyone's business! If you see an unattended child in a car and are concerned, you should immediately call 911.  

If the child is not responsive or is in pain, immediately:

  • Call 911.
  • Get the child out of the car.
  • Spray the child with cool water (not in an ice bath).

If the child is responsive:

  • Stay with the child until help arrives.
  • Have someone else search for the driver or ask the facility to page them.

Additional Information & Resources:

Last Updated
 
6/30/2015
Source
 
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2015)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

All information provided by HealthyChildren.org

Sun Safety: Information for Parents about Sunburn & Sunscreen
07-1-2018

 

Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen

 

 

It's good for children and adults to spend time playing and exercising outdoors, and it's important to do so safely.

Simple Rules to Protect your Family from Sunburns

  • Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find shade under a tree, an umbrella, or the stroller canopy.

  • When possible, dress yourself and your children in cool, comfortable clothing that covers the body, such as lightweight cotton pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats.

  • Select clothes made with a tight weave; they protect better than clothes with a looser weave. If you're not sure how tight a fabric's weave is, hold it up to see how much light shines through. The less light, the better. Or you can look for protective clothing labeled with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF).

  • Wear a hat with an all-around 3-inch brim to shield the face, ears, and back of the neck.

  • Limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when UV rays are strongest.

  • Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection. Look for child-sized sunglasses with UV protection for your child.

  • Use sunscreen.

  • Make sure everyone in your family knows how to protect his or her skin and eyes. Remember to set a good example by practicing sun safety yourself.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen can help protect the skin from sunburn and some skin cancers but only if used correctly. Keep in mind that sunscreen should be used for sun protection, not as a reason to stay in the sun longer.

How to Pick Sunscreen

  • Use a sunscreen that says "broad-spectrum" on the label; that means it will screen out both UVB and UVA rays.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 (up to SPF 50). An SPF of 15 or 30 should be fine for most people. More research studies are needed to test if sunscreen with more than SPF 50 offers any extra protection.
  • If possible, avoid the sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone because of concerns about mild hormonal properties. Remember, though, that it's important to take steps to prevent sunburn, so using any sunscreen is better than not using sunscreen at all.
  • For sensitive areas of the body, such as the nose, cheeks, tops of the ears, and shoulders, choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These products may stay visible on the skin even after you rub them in, and some come in fun colors that children enjoy.

How to Apply Sunscreen

  • Use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet, hands, and even backs of the knees. Rub it in well.

  • Put sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. It needs time to absorb into the skin.

  • Use sunscreen any time you or your child spend time outdoors. Remember that you can get sunburn even on cloudy days because up to 80% of the sun's UV rays can get through the clouds. Also, UV rays can bounce back from water, sand, snow, and concrete, so make sure you're protected.

  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. Because most people use too little sunscreen, make sure to apply a generous amount.

Sunscreen for Babies

  • For babies younger than 6 months: Use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face, if protective clothing and shade are not available.

  • For babies older than 6 months: Apply to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes. If your baby rubs sunscreen into her eyes, wipe her eyes and hands clean with a damp cloth. If the sunscreen irritates her skin, try a different brand or sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If a rash develops, talk with your child's doctor.

Sunburns

When to Call the Doctor

If your baby is younger than 1 year and gets sunburn, call your baby's doctor right away. For older children, call your child's doctor if there is blistering, pain, or fever.

How to Soothe Sunburn

Here are 5 ways to relieve discomfort from mild sunburn:

  • Give your child water or 100% fruit juice to replace lost fluids.

  • Use cool water to help your child's skin feel better.

  • Give your child pain medicine to relieve painful sunburns. (For a baby 6 months or younger, give acetaminophen. For a child older than 6 months, give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen.)

  • Only use medicated lotions if your child's doctor says it is OK.

  • Keep your child out of the sun until the sunburn is fully healed.​

Additional Information

 
Last Updated
 
4/1/2014
Source
 
Fun in the Sun: Keep Your Family Safe (Copyright © 2008 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 4/2014)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

All information provided by HealthyChildren.org

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