Many types of pests are not just irritating. Some creatures are scary not because of how they look or how much damage to property they can bring; these animals are terrifying because they can transmit life-threatening illnesses to people. Mosquitoes, for instance, are well-known vectors of several forms of viruses that cause encephalitis or brain inflammation. Other species cause malaria, dengue, and other dangerous diseases. Ticks also transmit microorganisms that cause typhus and Lyme disease. This is also the creature that carries the dreaded Crimean-Congo Viral Hemorrhagic fever virus that can easily decimate mankind in a few years.
With all these virulent organisms being carried around by common household pests, it’s really very important to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and especially our children from insects. However, we must also use insect repellents cautiously because these contain chemicals, such as permethrin, DEET, P-menthane 3.8 diol, and other alcohol derivatives. Such elements, in large and continuous applications, can cause not only skin irritation, but also cancer, kidney lesions, muscle spasms, seizures, and other grave disorders. So, here are some safety tips when using insect repellents.
1. Follow recommended use.
When instructions say that a product must only be applied every 4 hours, then do so. Do not reapply every 15 minutes because, generally, saturation will not improve a product’s effectiveness. In addition, you’ll be exposing yourself and your loved ones from higher doses of dangerous chemicals. In case you’re using permethrin or other chemicals that should not be applied on the skin, then be careful during application. Do not spray products on the clothes that you’re wearing, and make sure that you don’t spray the inner part of your clothing because this section touches the skin.
2. Be cautious when using repellents on children.
Always ask your pediatrician about what sort of repellents can be used on your kids. Some insect repellents, such as those that contain DEET, must not be used on infants. In addition, children below a certain age must only be exposed to a certain concentration of DEET. Therefore, ask your doctor about the level of DEET concentration that you can use on your child.
3. Obtain more information about insect repellents.
For more information regarding insect repellent use, you can visit the AAP or American Academy of Pediatrics website. The site has a lot of information regarding types of insect repellents, recommended frequency of application, and several safety tips. There, you’ll also be able to read about some common and serious adverse reactions that could be caused by regular and improper use of repellents.
– Repellents used on children should not exceed 30% DEET. Generally, the higher the DEET, the longer the protection lasts. But studies show that products that contain more than 30% DEET don’t provide extra protection.
– Insect repellents should never be used on infants, especially babies that are younger than 2 months.
– Insect repellents must never be sprayed directly onto the face. Also, it should not be used on open wounds or cuts.
Claire Brent is a freelance writer and a mother who also uses insect repellents on her child for mosquito and tick protection. She’s written this article in hopes of offering more information to everyone regarding the proper way to use insect repellents, especially on children. She also blogs for Preventive Pest Control, which is a reliable company that can help you out in case you’re place or grounds are inundated by ticks or mosquitoes.