ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) --The weather has been gorgeous and that has more of us outdoors, which also means bug bites.
Dr. Kirsten Lee is a pediatrician with St. Louis Children's Hospital and joined Margie Ellisor with advice on ways to ward off bugs.
Bug Prevention Tips:
1) The Best Protection: a combination of Permethrin-treated clothing and 30% DEET applied to exposed skin.
- DEET (max of 30%) should only be applied once a day to children
- No repellants should be used on babies less than 2 months old
- Apply in a well ventilated area or outside
- Like sunscreen, do not spray onto face. Apply to hands and rub onto key areas.
- Wash hands after application
- More is not better.
- The most common side effect of too much DEET is skin irritation or rash.
- Long pants and sleeves will provide some protection but do not actually kill or repel insects/arthropods.
- Picaridin is effective against mosquitos and ticks.
- Lemon Eucalyptus (P-methane-3,8-diol) may sound natural but it is not as well-tested and NOT recommended for use in young children.
- BioUD has a very low toxicity rating and can be effective against mosquitoes.
- IR 3535 is a synthetic repellant found in some Avon products.
What about treating a bug bite?
- 1% hydrocortisone ointments
- Benadryl type ointments can help but can also cause irritation.
- Antihistamines are better taken by mouth.
- Calamine lotion is safe mildly effective
- Ice or a cold compress will temporarily decrease itching.
2) Oral: take by mouth
- Antihistamines: Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Zyrtec, Allegra, or Claritin type medications are all helpful to decrease itching and reactions.
- Call your doctor if your child develops fever, rashes, or other symptoms related to an insect encounter.