Tips for Protecting Children from Mosquitoes and Ticks this Summer

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mike Gittelman, MD, Co-Director, Comprehensive Children's Injury Center and the experts at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center want to make sure that families and children stay safe while playing outdoors this summer.

Summertime provides families with the wonderful opportunity to play outdoors and socialize with other children, but it is important for parents to remember to keep their children safe from potentially harmful bugs such as mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, when spending time outside. Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, eastern equine encephalitis virus and even dengue; ticks can transmit Lyme disease and other serious infections and fleas can transmit plague.

During the summer months it is critical that parents remember to protect their children from bugs by using proper insect repellent and avoiding areas with high insect populations,” said Dr. Gittelman.

To prevent illnesses from these summer bugs, The American Academy of Pediatrics and Dr. Gittelman give the following tips on how to keep children safe:

  • Don't use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
  • Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom. Ticks are more common in leaf-litter and high grasses.
  • To keep ticks at a distance, use repellent containing 20% DEET. (The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any product you purchase. DEET should not be used on children under two months of age.)
  • For mosquitoes, it is recommended to use products that contain DEET too but picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus can also be used. You can also treat clothing with permethrin or purchase clothing that is pre-treated with permethrin.
  • After coming inside, shower as soon as possible and check your body for ticks. Wash and tumble dry clothing and check your pets for ticks.
  • Consult your healthcare provider if you develop a rash, fever, body aches, fatigue or headache, stiff neck, disorientation in the 1-3 weeks following a bite. It could be any number of illnesses.  

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News & World Report’s 2014 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.

Contact Information

Danielle Jones
513-636-9473 (phone)