What's Going Around: Bug bites

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Most families are savoring the final days of summer vacation and are planning to spend as much time outdoors in the nice weather as possible.

In much the same way you take steps to protect your skin from the sun’s dangerous rays during the day, you should also guard against bites at night.

Bug bites are the focus of What’s Going Around this week. The itchiness can be near all-consuming, especially for young children.

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The risk is tearing the skin and being exposed to bacteria, leading to infection. Mosquitoes are the biggest offenders of summer bites and they’re out from dusk to dawn.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes most kinds of mosquitoes as “nuisance mosquitoes”, but there are some kinds in the United States and around the world that spread disease-causing viruses.

Mosquitoes can thrive indoors and outdoors. They also prefer warm places, so remember your garage, shed and even inside of your home are places the insects will try to settle.

Protect your family with insect repellent that contains DEET. Experts, including Dr. Mike Patrick of Nationwide Children Hospital, advise using up to 30 percent DEET on children.

“The higher percentages last longer so they’re not necessarily stronger, they just have a longer period of action,” Dr. Mike said.

Once you are in for the night, it is essential to wash the clothes you were wearing and then take a shower to clean off any DEET left on your skin.

Remember that unlike sunscreen, which you apply often, insect repellent its just one and done.