Best Mosquito Repellents that can Protect Kids from the West Nile Virus

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Based on the news that we had last week, a fourth person from Utah has caught the West Nile virus, while one person has died. Even though summer is almost gone, the risk is still out there, so we must ensure that kids are protected against this threat and use repellents before they go outside.

Mosquito season is not over yet

According to an epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health, Dallin Peterson, we might have to wait a few more months before the mosquito season is over, until around mid-October or maybe even November. It depends on when we can see the first freeze. Peterson has reminded us that there is no vaccine for humans, so if one person gets infected, they are in fact treating the symptoms. That’s where the insect repellents come into action. In his opinion, the most effective repellents are DEET or picaridin. One can also use lemon eucalyptus oil, which has proven to be quite effective.

Which repellents are best for kids?

When it comes to kids, we need to make sure that the repellents used for them are safe. According to Dr. Anne Blashcke, who is a pediatrician with the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division of the University of Utah, repellents that have up to 30% DEET are safe to use for kids. Blashcke has mentioned that parents need to be careful when using repellents to protect their children against mosquitos, however, chemicals like DEET has been shown to not pose any risks for kids and can be used for children older than two months.

It is also important for parents to remember that the instructions of how to use a repellent must be followed accordingly. They should not use more than the recommended dose and the repellent has to be applied only to the exposed skin of the child. Parents also need to know that they have to wash the repellent off their kids when they go back inside the house. Picaridin is known to cause skin and eye irritation, however, it is considered safe by experts. The same applies to lemon eucalyptus oil, but CDC has mentioned that it has not been tested yet on children younger than three years old.


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