Are you planning for a short holiday trip somewhere? If you are planning a trip to countries with a tropical climate, it would be good to take steps to prevent bug bites. With a few preventative measures and tips for treating bug bites and stings when they do happen, you and your family can enjoy your time outside without the nuisance of itchy bug bites.
The danger of bug bites
Most people are unaware that bug bites can be deleterious to one’s health. Bug bites including mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and some flies, can spread diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, Zika, dengue, chikungunya and Lyme disease. Some of these diseases have severe and lasting consequences. Furthermore, some diseases cannot be prevented or treated with vaccines or medicine for example Zika and Lyme disease.
Prevention of bug bites
Therefore, the prevention of bug bites is of utmost importance.Protect yourself by doing the following:
➡️ Use insect repellent containing one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. For children under 3 years, do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD). Never apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin.
➡️ Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
➡️ Cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
➡️ Treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) with 0.5% permethrin (an insecticide). Do not use permethrin directly on the skin.
➡️ Choose hotel rooms or other accommodations that are air-conditioned or have window and door screens that keep out bugs.
➡️If bugs can get into where you are sleeping, sleep under a permethrin-treated bed net that can be tucked under the mattress.
Dr. JoAnn Rajah is a child specialist that provides pediatric care to baby and children in Selangor and KL. Her core strength lies in diagnosing early signs of child health issues and guiding parents on how to manage them.