June 14th, 2016 BY HealthNetwork
Who Needs Mosquito Repellent?
Summer has arrived and with summer come the mosquitoes. This year with the expected arrival of the Zika mosquito in the United States, mosquito repellent use is now more important than ever. You may be thinking but I’m not a pregnant woman, so why do I need to be thinking about mosquito repellent?
There are many mosquito borne diseases that can affect men, women and children; it is not just the Zika virus you need protection from. And if you are traveling to one of the many mosquito infested travel destinations it is especially important to protect yourself and your entire family. Mosquito bites are not just itchy and annoying they can make you extremely ill and in some cases can even be life threatening. Along with the Zika virus, which infected males can pass on to their sexual partners and the dangers it presents to pregnant women, mosquitoes carry diseases like West Nile, Chikungunya, Dengue, and the more dangerous malaria or yellow fever.
With the arrival of the Zika virus in the U.S. the CDC is trying to stress to the American people more than ever the importance of using the proper mosquito repellent both here and when traveling abroad. Mosquito repellents are safe and effective for men, women and children, even for pregnant women. It is important to consider what type of outdoor activities you will be doing, what time of the day or night you will be outside and for how long; then you can select a product that fits your activity level and exposure duration.
Applying Insect Repellents Effectively And Safely
Mosquito and insect repellents are safe, easy to use and effective for everyone when chosen and applied properly.
Below are some tips for application and safety:
- Carefully read the label instructions, including flammability warnings.
- Make sure you fully understand how much you can apply and how often.
- Apply repellents only to exposed skin areas.
- Do not apply repellents under clothing.
- If using a spray repellent avoid breathing it in and do not spray near food or drinks that are in open containers.
- Do not spray repellents in a small enclosed area i.e. tents or enclosures when possible apply repellent spray outdoors or a well ventilated room.
- Do not apply repellent sprays near open flames or lit cigarettes.
- Do not apply repellent creams or lotions near eyes or mouth.
- Apply repellent creams, lotions or sprays sparingly around the ears.
- NEVER use repellent lotions, creams or sprays over open wounds, cuts, or irritated skin.
- After you have returned indoors be certain to wash with soap and water any repellent treated areas of skin.
- Do not use repellent sprays on pets unless the label specifically states it is safe for pets.
- Make certain to store repellents out of the reach of children.
Repellent Use For Your Child
Most repellents are perfectly safe for children, even infants, but there are certain products that are not appropriate for use on children be certain to read the labels carefully. If you have concerns regarding applying repellent on your children contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) or contact them by phone at 1-800-858-7378. You should also contact your child’s physician if they are on any medications or have pre-existing conditions for advice on what repellents are safe for use on your child or make the NPIC aware of any of the situations mentioned above.