What You Need to Know: Summer Bug Safety

During the summer many families spend their days and evenings outside. While the fresh air and sunshine feel good, being outdoors more frequently means that you’re more likely to come in contact with some of nature's less pleasant six- or eight-legged creatures. You probably already use bug spray to help ward off mosquitoes. But there are other bugs that can cause problems for you and your kids, and other things you can do to prevent bug bites during the summer months. Check out the bugs to be wary of (and what you can do to stay safe) below.

Mosquitoes

At their best, mosquito bites can cause itchy, uncomfortable bumps to rise on your skin. At their worst, mosquitoes can transmit diseases that can be dangerous to you, your kids, and even a baby you may be carrying.

To avoid mosquito bites, apply bug spray before going outside and reapply it as directed for the duration of your outside time. You can also reduce your risk of mosquito bites by making sure there is no standing water around you home and, if you live in an area known for a bad mosquito season, spraying your yard to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching. 

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Ticks

Removing a tick from your child’s body can be an exercise in both patience and bravery. Ticks are most common in rural or wooded areas but can be found even in the middle of heavily populated cities. Ticks can carry serious, scary diseases but there are some concrete steps you can take to prevent tick bites.

You can avoid tick bites by avoiding wooded areas or areas with tall grass and by checking your child’s clothes and body after they play outside to ensure there’s not a tick who has not yet bitten on them. If you do find yourself or your child with a tick bite, be sure that you save the tick in a Ziploc bag until you call your doctor or your child’s pediatrician as they may want to test it later on.

{ MORE: PSA: Think Before You Use a Blanket as a Sun Shade }

Spiders

Spiders are one of the creatures that give all kinds of people the creeps. While many spiders are completely harmless, there are a number whose bites are dangerous.

To avoid spider bites, make sure that you use caution when entering dark spaces that aren’t usually used and when moving things that might be a spider's home, such as piles of wood or unused boxes or equipment in a garage.

Stay safe mamas!

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What You Need to Know: Summer Bug Safety

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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