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Deet? Kids? Safe?

nj
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Deet? Kids? Safe?

I have been reading various posts about 30% Deet being the magic elixir to keep the no-see-ums at bay. I've also read it melts plastic and you need to wash your hands immediately. Makes me slightly concerned about slathering my 8 year old in the stuff. Any thoughts on what to use for the little ones? I promise I will write a trip report to make up for all of these questions!!

Boston
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1. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

It is not particularly safe for anyone, despite what they may say, but it is the thing that works the best and prevents being bitten. I probably would not use it on an infant, but I use it myself (despite the fact that it is toxic) and would probably put it on an 8 year old as well. Having said that, I am a mosquito magnet and nothing else works. If I don't use it I get eaten alive.

Edited: 13 March 2014, 16:30
Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

DEET is poison. Period. Use sparingly. Don't inhale. I had my kids hold a towel over thier faces while I sprayed thier ams and legs before bed.

Boston
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3. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

You sprayed your kids arms and legs before bed? That doesn't seem right unless they were sleeping in the sand.

Edited: 13 March 2014, 17:17
Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

Not every night. When we are in insect prone eviroments (aka camping or after heavy rains).

Princeton, New...
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5. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

I'm going to try those wrist band type mosquito repellents. The OFF clip on repellent works well to. I also have had good results with the Deep Woods towelettes.

ct. usa
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6. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

I think you should check with your pediatrician to see what is considered safe. "Avoiding the bite" is a good start re mosquito borne illnesses. You can do that with clothing, avoiding time outside when mossies are more likely about and choosing where you stay -( good screens.) There are some diseases spread by mosquitoes that are dangerous and your child's doc is best source of info , or CDC about repellants and safety. I think no -see- ums are just annoying.

Rhode Island
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7. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

We had a similar question about the safety of Deet (we have two children under the age of 4). Our pediatrician said Deet up to 10% (there are a few brands with 7-10% Deet) was ok to use on the legs, arms, but avoid the face and hands and to change clothes and give them baths before bed. We're also going to have them wear pants and long sleeves in the evenings if we're going to be outside. After reading about the mosquito borne illness in the western Caribbean, we're going to use it if needed. Here's the link to the most recent article, seattletimes.com/html/travel/2022673568_cari…

Exeter
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8. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

I am a pediatrician and currently visiting St John. Luckily we are staying in a house higher up with good breezes that have made the trip so far virtually bug free. I agree with many of the statements above. DEET is a poison but it is not absorbed through intact skin. I would have no hesitation in appropriately using DEET containing products on children, even infants who are older than 2 months of age. There is good research that if used correctly there is essentially no risk. Adverse effects have been reported only with massive exposure (including oral ingestion) and chronic high dose use.

EPA guidelines for appropriate use include the following:

-Use just enough repellent to lightly cover but not saturate the skin

-Repellents should be applied to exposed skin, clothing, or both, but not under clothing

-A thin layer can be applied to the face by dispensing repellent into the palms, rubbing hands together, and then applying to the face

-Repellent should be washed from the palms after application to prevent contact with the eyes, mouth, and genitals

-Do not use repellents over cuts, wounds, inflamed, irritated, or eczematous skin

-Do not inhale aerosols, spray them in enclosed spaces or near food, or get them into the eyes

-Do not apply insect repellent to the hands of small children, as it will inevitably be rubbed into the eyes

-Frequent reapplication of repellent is unnecessary

-The areas treated with repellent should be washed with soap and water once the repellent is no longer needed.

More important info about DEET:

The effectiveness of DEET plateaus at approximately 30 percent, but higher concentrations provide longer duration of protection. Products with concentrations around 10 percent are effective for periods of approximately two hours; a concentration of about 24 percent provides an average of five hours of protection Protection is shortened by swimming, washing, sweating, wiping, exercise, and rainfall.

And last, products containing both DEET and sunscreen are not recommended for children because reapplication (as may be necessary for the sunscreen component) will result in an excessive exposure to DEET.

Hope this helps and sorry to make it so long but I wanted to be thorough on this important topic.

Most of all have great vacation!!! It doesn't get any better than this. As the High Tide t-shirts say, " It's not Heaven, it's just paradise".

Boston
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9. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

With all due respect to the above poster to say that DEET is not absorbed by the skin is not correct. It is absolutely absorbed into the body via the skin.

There are many references on this subject including the following from both the EPA and CDC:

from the EPA -"DEET is efficiently absorbed across the skin and by the gut.

epa.gov/oppfead1/…Chap08.pdf

from the CDC - "About 3-8% of dermally applied DEET is absorbed, but higher DEET concentrations and different formulations may result in greater absorption (Sudakin and Trevathan, 2003). After absorption, DEET is metabolized via hydroxylation and dealkylation pathways and eliminated in the urine within approximately 24 hours (Selim et al., 1995; Sudakin and Trevathan, 2003)

cdc.gov/biomonitoring/DEET_BiomonitoringSumm…

nj
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10. Re: Deet? Kids? Safe?

Thank you all for the information and taking the time to post. I think we are going to try to stay off the beach at dusk, which seems to be the time they are prevalent.