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Bug Off!

Don't overdo insect repellants on kids

Bug season is here, and many parents are worried about letting their kids spend time outside when the threat of Lyme disease and West Nile virus lurks just outside their doors. Parents don't need to keep their children cooped up all summer, however, says this article from New Jersey's Bergen Record -- if they use insect repellants properly.

Youngsters don't need to wear repellants every time they step outdoors. But they should have it if they're going to be in a wooded or swampy area and when they're outside at dawn or dusk because that's when mosquitoes are most active, says the article. And, when they do wear repellants, make sure to use the chemicals sparingly.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends only applying repellants to exposed skin, not on broken skin. Also keep repellants from children's eyes and mouths, and wash the treated area when the kids come back inside.

Dr. Jane Forester applies DEET insect repellants only to her children's clothing, according to this article on GeoParent.com. This gives them the protection of the repellants without directly exposing their skin to the pesticides.

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