Summer is the season of warm weather and outdoor activity…which means it is also the season of insects.
As you venture the outdoors with your family these next few months, avoid mosquito and tick bites and ensure that your summer is an enjoyable one with these quick tips:
1. Avoid areas where they tend to be active:
Mosquitoes and ticks may spread serious infectious disease such as West Nile Virus (transmitted by mosquitoes) and Lyme Disease (transmitted by ticks). However, both are easily preventable through simple precautions. During the summer, families can significantly reduce their chances of mosquito bites by reducing outdoor activity between dusk and dawn and avoiding shady areas. In the spring and fall when ticks are most present, woodland areas and tall grasses should be avoided as much as possible.
2. Cover and Clothe:
Wearing light colored clothing makes it easier to see/remove ticks and does not attract mosquitoes as much as darker clothing. Dress your child in long and loose fitting outfits that cover as much of the arms and legs. If biting insects are present in your area, cover cribs, playpens and strollers with a fine mesh netting. At home, use window and door screens.
3. Check and Remove Ticks:
While staying in an area where ticks frequent, inspect yourself and your child daily on the head, neck and behind the ears for tick penetration. Removing ticks within 24-48 hours of penetration will likely prevent the occurrence of Lyme disease as the bacteria has not yet been transmitted to the individual.
4. Use Repellent:
Repellents are a great way for children to prevent blood-feeding insects from landing and/or biting. For infants under the age of 6 months, Health Canada recommends taking non-chemical measures. A good natural repellent suitable for all ages is found in products containing 2% soybean oil. The active ingredient of repellents, DEET, effectively prevents both tick and mosquito bites. Health Canada recommends no more than 10% DEET concentration for children 12 and under. Children may use products with up to 30% DEET after that age.
|Active ingredient, % concentration||Product name||Protects against|
|5% to 10%||OFF! Skintastic Kids†||2 h||See below*|
|OFF! Active Lotion†||2 h to 3 h|
|25%||OFF! Deep Woods Pump Spray†; Muskol Aerosol‡||5 h to 6 h||Yes|
Apply sunscreen on your child and wait for 20 minutes before applying repellent. Add the repellent product lightly and over the clothing, avoiding the mouth and eye area. Once indoors, wash the product off with soap and water.
Enjoy the outdoors safely!