How should we use insect repellents properly?
Insect repellents are available in various forms and concentrations. Repellents containing DEET or diethyltoluamide are effective and widely used.
Insect repellents are available as liquids and creams.
The following precautions are recommended when using repellents:
1. Apply repellent only when going outdoors.
2. Choose repellents with appropriate DEET concentrations: in general, higher concentrations of DEET will offer longer-lasting protection, but are more stimulating. Usually products containing 10% – 30% DEET work best for adult, products containing no more than 10% DEET are recommended for children.
3. Sweating/ perspirating or getting wet may mean that you need to reapply repellent.
4. Repellent should be applied only to exposed skin. Never use repellent over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin;
5. Do not spray repellent directly to the face: first spray it onto the hands and then rub it onto the face;
6. Do not allow children to handle these products. When using on children, apply to your own hands and then put it on the children.
7. Infants are not recommended to use repellents (to avoid licking);
8. Mediterranean anemia and G6PD deficiency patients should not use repellents;
9. Poisoning and management: toxicity is low (lower than table salt); however, high concentration of DEET can cause skin reaction. Irritation may result if splashed into eyes. Accidental excessive ingestion may lead to nausea or vomiting.
10. Handling method: If repellent gets into eyes, flush with plenty of water. In case of accidental excessive ingestion, get medical advice immediately.
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