HOW TO AVOID AND PREVENT BUG BITES

Before we went on our trip, I read many blogs of travelling families and I was fascinated by those half-crazy people travelling around the world with their children in all kinds of far away places.
I remember reading blogs about a family that was travelling in Cambodia. I thought to myself there is no chance that I would take my children to Cambodia. What kind of people takes their children to this dangerous place? and where is it anyway?

We spent two beautiful weeks in Cambodia and in retrospect, it was a stunning country

We had so much fun travelling there!
Really depends on the point of view, what you see when travelling isn’t what you see from far away.

It is definitely possible to travel with children without risk, or reasonable risk anyway. There are however a few precautions I suggest:

  • Most important is protection from insect bites – the main problem is of course mosquitoes, but there are some places in the world where flies and ticks could also be a problem.
  • Beyond the stings themselves which are mainly scratchy and irritating, mosquitoes and other bloodsuckers can transmit diseases (like dengue, zika, and others) so it is important to try and prevent getting bitten.
  • Cover Exposed Skin As much as possible, wear long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, socks, and a hat.
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants, and tuck your pants into your socks for maximum protection

 

Avoid Bugs Where You Stay

Choose rooms that are air-conditioned or have good window/door nets protecting bugs from getting inside. If bugs can get in your room, use a bed net that can be tucked under the mattress. When outdoors, use area repellents (such as mosquito coils) containing metofluthrin or allethrin.

 

Use Insect Repellent

Use insect repellents that contain at least 20% DEET for protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs.

Other repellents protect against mosquitoes but may not be effective against ticks or other bugs:

  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • IR3535
  • 2 undecanone (methyl nonyl ketone)

Find the EPA-registered insect repellent that is right for you. The effectiveness of insect repellents that are not registered with the EPA, including some natural repellents, is not known.

When using insect repellent, follow the instructions on the package and reapply as directed:

In general, higher percentages of the active ingredient provides longer-lasting protection. However, this increase in protection time maximizes at about 50% DEET.

If you are also using sunscreen, apply it first, let it dry, and then apply repellent.

Do not use products that contain both sunscreen and repellent.

Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.

 

Children, Follow instructions for applying repellent on children:

    • Do not use insect repellents on babies younger than 2 months old.
    • Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children younger than 3 years old.
    • Children should not touch repellent. Adults should apply it to their hands and gently spread it over the child’s exposed skin.
    • Do not apply repellent to children’s hands because they tend to put their hands in their mouths.
    • Keep repellent out of the reach of children.
    • For babies under 2 months old, protect them by draping mosquito netting over their carrier or car seat. Netting should have an elastic edge for a tight fit.

 

Pregnant Women

Some infections, including Zika, can spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus, so pregnant women should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites while travelling. In the case of Zika, because infection in a pregnant woman is linked to serious birth defects and miscarriage, CDC recommends that pregnant women not travel to areas with Zika outbreaks.

When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are safe and effective for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

 

For more information, visit the CDC website.