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Sunscreens, Bug sprays, & Your Kids

I'll bet your kids are ready for summer! Leave it to a doctor to point out the downsides of summertime.  I saw my first significant sunburns and mosquito bites in clinic last week, so it's time to put on your summer armor - insect repellent and sunscreens. Remember that although most mosquito and tick bites don't cause disease, an insect repellent containing 10-30% DEET is your safest and best way to prevent your kids becoming dinner for one of these critters. Bright colored clothing and being outdoors at dawn and dusk increases the frequency of mosquito bites also, so these may be times to avoid. Remember to re-apply insect repellent every couple of hours. For you campers out there, remember that there is a permethrin spray available for clothes and camping gear which does a pretty good job keeping the ticks away. Most sunburns occur between 10 am and 4 pm (when your shadow is shorter than you are). Sunscreens should have an SPF of 30-45 or so (there isn't much benefit to higher SPF). Remember to reapply these at least every 2 hours, and more frequently if your child is swimming.

Hope you enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and a wonderful summer!

Dr. Nechyba