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Battling South Carolina Bug Bites

Bugin' Out

Insects (mosquitoes, gnats, chiggers, ticks, etc.) can make a child’s outdoor gardening experience much less fun in and around Greenville. There are many safe and effective insect repellents that parents can use to protect their children, including those containing deet, citronella or soybean oil. However, remember to only use products that are approved for children and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wash off insect repellents after returning indoors.
    Insect repellents with deet are probably the best and most commonly used. Although it is absorbed through your child’s skin, insect repellents are generally safe as long as the product has less than 10 percent deet. You should apply the deet product to all exposed skin, except near the eyes, mouth, open cuts or hands of small children who may rub their eyes or put their fingers in their mouth. Deet is absorbed through the skin, so you may want to limit how much you put on younger children, wash it off as soon as possible and apply it more to the clothing than to the skin.
    Although deet insect repellents are effective for several hours, they do wash off with water and sweat, so you may have to reapply them to retain effectiveness.
    Other insect repellents that are generally sage for children include those made with citronella (Avon’s Skin-So-Soft), soybean oil (Bite Blocker) and other plant-based materials (OFF! Botanicals).

Other insect repellant tips include:
•    If our child does not want you to put insect repellent on him or her, consider using new insect repellents with disappearing colors that make the experience more fun for kids.
•    Remember that insect repellents do not protect against most stinging insects, including wasps, bees and fire ants.
•    To keep your children sage from insect bites, you can also make sure to keep as much of their skin covered with clothing as possible, including a long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks and a hat.
•    Dress your children in light colored clothing, so as not to attract bugs.
•    Avoid using any scented soaps or other products on children since the fragrances can also attract insects.
•    Avoid gardening in areas with insect nests.

•    Follow all instructions; including age restrictions on any insect repellents you are considering using.

By Vincent Iannelli

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