Take the Bite Out of Summer! How to Avoid Mosquitoes
By Jasmine K. Waipa, MD, FAAP - [email protected]
August 02, 2015
Tags: Pediatrics   Summer   Skin Care  

Summer is a great time for outdoor fun, such as at the beach, BBQ-ing, and camping. We encourage you to wear sun protection, including hats, sunglasses, and SPF 30+ sunscreen when outside. However, one thing that often puts a damper on outside leisure is mosquito bites! Even worse, the uncomfortable itching of the bites cause scratching that can sometimes lead to skin infections.

Here are a few tips to help you and your child keep mosquitoes at bay:

  1. Wear loose, light or bright-colored clothing (avoid anything dark-colored, because this attracts bugs), preferably long-sleeved to cover as much of your skin as possible.
  2. Try to stay indoors at sunrise and sunset, as some mosquitoes tend to swarm and bite around these times. Also make sure window screens are intact so that the little insects can't sneak their way in!
  3. Try to avoid having standing water close-by, such as in pools, trash cans, or puddles on the ground, as this can attract mosquitoes who like to breed in still water.
  4. Use repellent. There are "natural" repellents, such as the oil of lemon eucalyptus, to help ward off biting insects (though this oil is NOT recommended for kids younger than 3 years old). Chemical repellents containing DEET have been approved and deemed SAFE for kids as young as 2 months old. Make sure to choose a concentration from 10 to 30% (but no greater) of DEET. The higher concentration (percentage) just means that the repellent will last longer, so if your child will only be outside for an hour or two, it's ok to go with the lower concentration.
  5. Don't use sweet smelling perfumes or lotions, as mosquitoes tend to be attracted to such floral or fruity scents.

Do you have any tricks for avoiding these pesky critters during your outdoor time?

~Hawaii Pediatrics

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