These days we have so much information at our fingertips to help solve any parenting dilemma (admittedly, most of the times we may have too much). You could argue the Internet was both the best and worst thing to ever happen to parenting.
Despite the sometimes overwhelming amount of information, it’s still nice to consult a parenting expert once in a while to get some new ideas, advice and even a dose of perspective.
At LiveMom, we want to help answer your questions. We have a recurring feature called Ask the Expert, brought to you by Baylor Scott & White Health, that will take on a wide range of subjects, from potty training to car seats to dealing with kids and technology to anything in between.
Q: How do I keep my family safe from insects this summer? And how do I avoid getting the Zika virus?
A: Nothing can ruin a perfect day outside like insect bites! From painful stings to a week’s worth of itching, we can all suffer the discomfort that bugs can bring. For little ones, it can be particularly uncomfortable. Parents need to pay particular attention to small children’s reaction to bug bites, when they do happen, to monitor whether they are allergic to certain stings and bites.
“If you’re unsure of your child’s reaction, they need to get to medical attention immediately,” said Goddy Corpuz, M.D., Pediatrician at Baylor Scott & White Clinic – Cedar Park.
The Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and may also be transmitted through sexual contact and blood transfusion. Most people infected with Zika have no symptoms, and for the one of five who do have symptoms, they are usually very mild and last five to seven days. These may include fever, rash, headache, joint and muscle pain, and conjunctivitis. The best way to prevent Zika is to avoid mosquito bites.
Dr. Corpuz offers a few tips to prevent mosquito and other bites:
- If possible, stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active. Avoid areas where insects may nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
- Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hairsprays, as these increase the chance for mosquito bites.
- During mosquito season, wear socks and shoes, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Try to avoid dressing children in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints, as they can attract insects.
- Apply mosquito spray or repellent to exposed skin. Spraying the outside of your clothing provides extra prevention. Use a repellent that contains DEET or one that has oil of lemon eucalyptus, which comes from plants.
- Don’t use DEET on infants under two months of age. Instead, use oil of lemon eucalyptus and cover your child’s stroller or playpen with mosquito netting.
“If you or your child experience rashes, muscle pain, headaches, or inflammation after being outside, seek medical attention,” said Dr. Corpuz “If breathing becomes difficult, get to the emergency room.”
Read more expert medical tips and insights on Baylor Scott & White Health’s Scrubbing In, where hands-on healthcare discussions take place everyday.
*This information is intended for general knowledge and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
Goddy Corpuz, M.D., is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.
Baylor Scott & White Clinic – Cedar Park
910 E. Whitestone Blvd
Cedar Park, TX 78613