Health Tip: Apply Bug Spray the Right Way

Careful use is key

Topics: Bites & Stings Poisons

(HealthDay News) -- When spending time outdoors -- especially at dawn or dusk -- protective clothing is the best way to guard against insect bites. But you also may need to protect yourself with insect repellent.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these suggestions on how to apply it safely:

  • To avoid skin irritation, apply the repellent to clothing.
  • Use only a small amount of repellent on exposed skin, avoid contact with the eyes, and wash it off as soon as you are away from possible insect exposure.
  • Don't use highly concentrated repellent (DEET), especially on children and pregnant women.
  • Never inhale or swallow insect repellent.
  • Don't put a lot of repellent on young children's hands, as they may put them in their mouths or rub their eyes.
  • Children younger than 2 years old should never wear insect repellent more than once per 24-hour period.

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