Children's Health and Summer time Bugs

Child Care Health Consultation

There Ain't No Bugs on Me!... It's such a cute song, but the reality of summer bug season is not. (Get the whole song here). Bugs can be just an annoying presence that cause fear, itchy, red, swollen bites, transmit disease, eat clothes and precious garden gifts, and some of them just plain stink! Easy tips to handle these situations can be found in Caring for, and Here are a few highlights for preventing mosquito and tick bites, removing ticks (yes, we need to remove them), and how to use insect repellent. 

First, use an integrated pest management strategy to reduce the presence of mosquitoes:

  • Windows and doors should be covered with intact screens
  • Avoid the outdoors at dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Long sleeves, long pants, and socks worn outdoors decreases available places for an attack
  • Consider an outdoor fan kept out of children's reach
  • Remove standing water (mosquitoes only need a tiny amount of water to reproduce)

For ticks:

  • Remove dead leaves from yard and keep grass short (this keeps the mosquito population down too!)
  • Restrict tick migration from wooded areas to the yard by installing a wood chip or gravel barrier
  • Keep play areas away from yard edges and trees
  • Light colored long sleeves, pants, and socks tucked into pants are recommended
  • Check for ticks when returning indoors

It is important to remove ticks as soon as possible to prevent transmission of disease.

  • Clean the area around the tick with soap and water or an antiseptic
  • Use tweezers or a gloved hand and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, pull slowly and steadily upwards until the tick releases. Do not use twisting, jerking, or rocking movements
  • Do not use sharp tweezers, or grasp too tightly. Avoid aggravating the tick which may cause it to burrow deeper.
  • Wash the skin, your hands and the tweezers afterward.

Instruct parents to call their health care provider if:

  • The tick has been on the skin for more than 24 hours
  • Part of the tick remains in the skin after removal
  • A rash of any kind develops
  • The site of the bite looks infected (redness, swelling, pain, warmth, puss)
  • Symptoms such as fever, tiredness, headache, stiff neck or back, muscle/joint aches
  • for more info click here

If using an insect repellent COMAR requires parental consent be obtained, and the first application must be done at home to avoid a surprise adverse reaction. Please share A parents guide to insect repellent.  

  • Follow manufacturer's instructions on the label. Be sure the label contains and EPA registration number and is approved for use on children in child's age range.
  • Avoid Aerosol sprays. Use a pump spray and do not apply directly to skin. Spray on adult applicator's hand the wipe onto child's skin. Wash hands afterward.
  • Do not apply under clothing.
  • Apply only once, and notify parents of application because the treated skin should be washed with soap and water.
  • For more info on insect repellent, click here.
  • To read more about the use of DEET click here.