Health Tip: Protect Kids From Mosquito Bites

And reduce their risk of West Nile virus

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(HealthDay News) -- Mosquito bites can transmit dangerous germs, such as the bug that causes West Nile virus. That's why bite prevention is so important.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these preventive suggestions:

  • Apply just enough insect repellent to cover your child's skin.
  • Use an insect repellent with a DEET concentration of no higher than 30 percent.
  • Don't use a combination sunscreen/DEET product because you will need to reapply the product frequently, which could be harmful.
  • Don't use insect repellents with DEET on babies under 2 months of age.
  • When applying DEET repellants on older infants, don't use the product on cuts or around eyes or mouth. Apply lightly around the ears.
  • Accounting for the summer heat, dress your child in long pants and sleeves. Cover baby's infant carrier with a mosquito net.
  • Keep children away from areas where mosquitoes gather, such as near standing water.
  • Fix any holes in window screens.
  • Don't let children play outdoors when mosquitoes are most active -- at dawn, dusk and early evening.

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