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PestiBytes Episode 4: Should Kids Use Bug Spray?

headphones Introduction/Conclusion: Dr. Dave Stone, Director of the National Pesticide Information Center
Host: Sandra Uesugi, EHSC Outreach Program Coordinator
Guest: Bryan, NPIC Pesticide Specialist

DR. STONE: Welcome to PestiBytes, a podcast series from the National Pesticide Information Center. These are based on common pesticide questions from people just like you.


SANDRA: This is Sandra and I'm talking with Bryan about insect repellents. Why might a parent want to use insect repellents on children?

BRYAN: Insect repellents are used to prevents from bugs like ticks and mosquitoes that may carry diseases such as Lyme disease or West Nile Virus.

SANDRA: Can any insect repellent be use on kids?

BRYAN: Parents should check the label directions for any insect repellent they're considering using on their children. Often times, the products designed for use on children may have lower percentages of active ingredient than products not intended for use on children. Some products are designed for children of specific age ranges and the label will have that information on it. One ingredient that's pretty common in insect repellents is DEET, and most DEET products will have some age restrictions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends DEET only be used on children over two months old. Parents should also look for other label restrictions on insect repellents, for example, DEET products often will have directions that say not to use it underneath clothing, so parents will want to make sure children who may be putting it on their arms or legs are covering those up with pants or jackets later on.

SANDRA: Are there other precautions parents should take?

BRYAN: Parents should consider helping young children apply insect repellents so they can do it safely and ensure that children are washing their hands after applying insect repellents. And of course, parents should store all pesticides, including insect repellents, safely out of the reach of children.

SANDRA: Thanks, Bryan!.

BRYAN: You're welcome!


DR. STONE: If you have questions about pesticides, please call us at 1-800-858-7378 or visit us on the web at http://npic.orst.edu. PestiBytes is brought to you by the National Pesticide Information Center, a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University and the Environmental Protection Agency. These are produced in collaboration with OSU's Environmental Health Sciences Center, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated May 10, 2011

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