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Home » News & Events » Sunscreen and Insects

Sunscreen and Insects

As the weather is getting warmer, here are some tips to make your outdoor time healthy and safe!

Preventing Sunburn

Sunscreen SPF should be between 30 and 50 SPF. Ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the most protective. Remember to apply, even on cloudy days, and reapply every 2 hours as needed. Sunscreen is not approved for under 6 months, so try to keep your infants out of direct sunlight!  If there is no shade, you can apply a small amount of sunscreen to skin exposed areas to prevent burns.

Woman putting sunscreen on girls nose

While sunscreen is great, additional steps can also help protect you:

  • Wear a hat and light weight clothing with a tight weave. How can you tell if it is a tight weave? By holding it up to a light and seeing how light comes through! Less light is better!
  • Try to limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when UV rays are strongest.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection 
  • Have some fun in the shade!

Managing tick and other insect bites

The most effect insect repellents contain DEET.  The concentration of DEET indicates how long the protection lasts: 10% Deet provides protection for 2 hours. 30% Deet provides protection for 5 hours.  Use the lowest concentration needed for the time you will be outside. Here are some additional guidelines:

  • Apply the insect repellent to the outside of your clothing and directly onto the skin. Do not apply to children less than 2 months old.
  • If you use a spray, do so in an open area to avoid breathing in the repellent.  If using on your child’s face, spray the product on your hands, then apply, being careful to avoid the eyes and mouth.  
  • Clothing, long sleeve, pants, tucking in your shirt, and socks over pants can all help prevent ticks, especially if being in the woods is important. 
  • Make sure you perform full-body checks for ticks at end of the day! Remember to check in and around the ears, in and around the hair, under the arms, inside the belly button, between the legs, around the waist, and behind your knees!

What happens if I get a tick bite?

  • Remove with fine tipped tweezers with upward even pressure. Wash the area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol, and dispose of the tick by flushing down the toilet
  • We recommend treating preventively with a one time dose of antibiotics if a deer tick has been attached for greater than 36 hours and within 72 hours of removal. 
  • The CDC does not recommended sending ticks for Lyme testing

Have a safe and wonderful time in the warm weather!

The Physicians at MSP

Contact us today at (410) 494-1369 (Towson) or (410) 526-7993 (Foundry Row) to schedule an appointment!

Main Street Pediatrics now offers the latest Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine, recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics for ages 6 months and above. Please call our office to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine visit for your child. For more details read our recent blog post.