SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — We didn’t have a prolonged deep freeze over the winter, so believe it or not, tick and mosquito season is already here. CoxHealth pediatrician Dr. Christina Moellering says she’s already seen kids come in with bug bites. Here’s her advice in this week’s quick tip for parents.
“Mosquitoes and ticks are going to start to emerge as the weather warms. In fact, we’ve already started to see some in Greene County.
They’re a nuisance, but they can also carry some serious disease, so it’s a good idea to take some steps to protect your child.
If they’re going to be playing outside, try to keep them away from standing water. In your backyard, make sure you dump the kiddie pool, turn over any flowers or buckets that can hold standing water, as this can be breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Keeping their skin covered with light, loose-fitting clothing reduces the service area where they can be bit.
If they’re going to be outside for a long time, cover their skin or their clothing. You can apply DEET, anything between 10 and 30 is safe for a child over two months of age; just make sure you give them a bath before you put them to bed.
When your child comes in from playing outside, especially if they’ve been hiking through the woods or in the grass, you need to check them head to toe for ticks.
Make sure you check in the hair, behind the ears, and the genitals and all the skin creases.
If you remove that tick within 24 hours of your child being bit, you greatly decrease the chances that they’ll get a tick-borne illness.”
Dr. Moellering mentioned Deet. That’s in insect repellents. You can find in it products like Off and Repel.
And again, she says it is safe to use on children over the age of two months.