What’s bugging you?
Texas is home to lots of mosquitoes. So, we know you’ve got some questions on how to protect your child from them. Here are some of our favorites:
Q. Do mosquitoes like some people more than others?
Yes. Mosquitoes are attracted to things that put out heat. They like people who are hot and sweaty. They also prefer people who exhale more carbon dioxide with each breath. Pregnant women are popular because by definition, they are always hot and breathing a bit heavier than their non-pregnant state.
Q. Are mosquito bites dangerous?
For the most part, no. But it is possible to get West Nile Virus infection from a mosquito bite. The majority of the time, the local allergic reaction they cause are more of an itchy nuisance than a health hazard.
Q. Should I try to prevent my child from getting bitten by mosquitoes?
Yes. Besides the potential for West Nile Virus, kids have less patience and are less likely to resist the urge to scratch the heck out of insect bites. It’s possible to open the skin by scratching, leaving the area susceptible to bacterial infection. And, again, there’s that nuisance thing—20 bug bites can make it hard for a kid to comfortably fall asleep!
Q. Is it safe to use an insect repellent on myself and my child?
Newborns: Picaridin-based products are safe for newborns. Even better, buy some insect netting at your local baby goods store and cover the stroller for a evening stroll.
Babies and toddlers: DEET-based products are safe for kids over 2 months of age. Be sure to only apply once a day and wash it off afterwards. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is safe for kids over 3 years of age.