All can protect themselves from summer bites

| August 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

TRICARE, News Release

After a fun day at the pool or just being with friends, nothing can ruin the day like an annoying mosquito or tick bite.

Your skin won’t work as an insect repellent, so be sure to keep some protection on hand and treat bites quickly to avoid infection.

A bite from a tick can ruin a summer outing. Remember to protect yourself. (Image courtesy of Army News Service)

A bite from a tick can ruin a summer outing.
Remember to protect yourself. (Image courtesy of Army News Service)

CDC reminders

It may seem like a good idea, but avoid using combination sunscreen/bug spray. Sunscreen should be applied every few hours, but insect repellent does not need to be reapplied.

There are many different kinds of insect repellent, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends products that have at least one of the following active ingredients:

  • DEET,
  • Picaridin,
  • IR 3535, or
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that you not use DEET on children younger than 2 months old, and use 10-30 percent DEET on older children.

Ten percent DEET provides protection for about two hours, and 30 percent protects for about five hours. Choose the lowest concentration that will provide the coverage you need.

Be sure you read the labels to find out how much product is in the repellent. The DEET alternative, Picaridin, can be found in concentrations of 5 to 10 percent.

Outdoor care strategies

If you are outside for a long period of time, in addition to avoiding mosquitoes, you should also remember to check for ticks. Most tick bites are harmless, but be sure to remove ticks properly and wash the area, as well as your hands, after removal.

Because some ticks carry diseases, it is best to note when you found the tick and monitor yourself or your child for illness. Tick bites are typically painless, so they may be attached several days before you notice them.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from tick bites by wearing longer sleeves and tucking your pants into your socks in wooded areas.

Insect bites to an allergic child can cause severe symptoms requiring emergency treatment.

There’s still a lot of summer left to enjoy, so don’t let summer bugs spoil your fun.

TRICARE Assistance

If you have an emergency, be sure to go to an emergency room and not an urgent care clinic to ensure proper coverage. Urgent care coverage depends on your plan.

You can also call the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-874-2273, option 1. By calling the Nurse Advice Line, you can talk to a registered nurse who can give you health care advice, help you find a doctor or schedule a next-day appointment at a military hospital or clinic.

There are even pediatric nurses who can assist you and will call you back to check on your child.

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Category: Community, Health, Safety

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