Is mosquito repellent safe during pregnancy? Ask Dr HariWith all the news and alerts about the detrimental health effects of the Zika virus, pregnant women want answers for the following question: “Is mosquito repellent safe during pregnancy?”

The Zika virus is serious and can cause permanent damage to the health of your baby. But is mosquito repellent any safer? Concerned moms want to know!

From the CDC:

You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours. Products containing DEET include Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, and Ultrathon.
  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST MOSQUITOES ONLY: Products with one of the following active ingredients can also help prevent mosquito bites. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection.
    • DEET (https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents)
    • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin. Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan [outside the US])
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (Products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals)
    • IR3535 (Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart)
  • Always follow product directions and reapply as directed.
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
    • Follow package directions when applying repellent on children. Avoid applying repellent to their hands, eyes, and mouth.
  • Consider using permethrin-treated (http://npic.orst.edu/pest/mosquito/ptc.html) clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
    • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See the product information to find out how long the protection will last.
    • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
    • Do not use permethrin directly on skin.

What other steps should I take to prevent bug bites?

  • Prevent mosquito bites.
    • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
    • Stay and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms.
    • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.
  • Prevent tick bites.
    • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
    • Tuck in shirts, tuck pants into socks, and wear closed shoes instead of sandals to prevent bites.
    • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass, brush, and leaves. Walk in the center of hiking trails.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching mosquito bites.
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce itching.

More Questions? Visit Sun Pediatrics in Marietta

Is mosquito repellent safe during pregnancy? Ask Dr HariHave more questions about the Zika virus and protecting yourself? Ask Dr. Hari of Sun Pediatrics. Dr. Hari is highly recommended by parents in Cobb County. Sun is your local pediatrician serving Cobb County, Marietta, Mableton, Smyrna and Vinings.

Your Pediatrician in Marietta GA

Sun Pediatrics (678) 501-5601