Four Seasons Pediatrics

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Bug Repellants and Sunscreen


Ticks are widespread at this time. Deer ticks are active in May through July. It is these ticks that transmit Lyme Disease. We recommend that you check your child daily if they are outside. Most ticks can be found at the edge of properties in wooded areas. The overall risk of Lyme Disease from a TICK is less than 1-2%. For this reason, the best approach is prevention (use a repellant like Bug Out if outside for less than 4 hours and 3M Ultrathon if outside for more than 4 hours). We recommend one application rather than multiple applications.  In addition, check you child daily for TICKS and remove them carefully. We recommend using a TICK remover (we sell them) or tweezers. Gently pull up enough to tent the skin and wait for the TICK to detach. (Please have a seat and be patient, the Tick will usually release on its own in 1-4 minutes – do not attempt to pry the Tick off as it will likely break).  If you break the Tick, the embedded piece does not need to be removed, it will come out on its own.  Other preventive measures include: 1) wear light colored clothing and tuck pants into socks and shirts into pants 2) after removing a tick, disinfect the bite with soap, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.</p>



DO SLATHER ON ENOUGH. People typically use about 25 to 75 percent less sunscreen than they should, according to studies. Be sure to apply 2 to 3 tablespoons of sunscreen for maximum full-body protection of an adult. 
DON’T USE EXPIRED SUNSCREEN. Sunscreens aren’t required to post expiration dates as long as manufacturers can prove that they’ll last for at least three years. So if your sunscreen doesn’t have an expiration date, be sure to write the date on it in permanent marker when you buy it. And remember to discard it after three years.
DON”T MISS THESE SPOTS. Lips, ears, feet, hands, bald spots, and the back of your neck are all areas that are easy to forget.
DO REAPPLY REGULARLY. The maximum protection time of a sunscreen is based on the number of minutes it takes for you to burn multipled by the SPF number. So say you have fair skin and burn within 20 minutes and you’re using enough of an SPF 15 sunscreen. That will give you about five hours of protection. Nevertheless, reapply sunscreen every two hours just to be on the safe side. If you’re swimming or doing lots of sweating on the beach or the tennis court, you may want to reapply it more often than that. Also, keep in mind that reapplying sunscreen after you’ve exceeded your maximum protection time doesn’t mean that you can safely stay in the sun longer. Instead, be sure to cover up or get out of the sun!</p>

Products to consider:

We tend to get more calls this time of year for rashes after being in the sun with sunscreen.  As many products have increased their SPF, they have added more chemicals to create the higher SPF.  This has meant more rashes for children.   Neutrogena has excellent UVA/UVB coverage at SPF’s of 15 to 30 or higher.  Higher is not better since some products (like Neutrogena) get 100% protection (if you reapply) and you only may increase the chance of a rash with a higher SPF.   There are also more options for SPF clothing than ever before.  Coverage with this clothing will give protection to areas that will not need to be re-coated with sunscreen.  Just google “SPF clothing for children” or “babies” to see options.  SPF clothing for a baby is ideal.  For babies under 6 months the only sunscreen made for this age is Blue Lizard.  We recommend SPF clothing as described above, a brim hat and avoidance during the peak high UV rays (10 am to 3 pm).  If you must use a sunscreen, for this age, limit to the areas you cannot cover.

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