Though summer is winding down, it’s never too late to brush up on some basic safety tips to keep yourself as bug free and bite free as you can through the hot months.
To begin with, bug spray should never really be applied more than once a day. One good application will last you the entire day, and putting on too much bug spray can be dangerous.
Always make sure to pay attention to DEET, also known as N. N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide. The higher the percentage of DEET in your bug spray, the higher your chances go for the nasty side effects that go along with it, such as allergic reactions, or the more severe ones such as seizures.
And when it comes to kids, Debi Forrest from Florida’s Poison Control Centers said you must exercise extra caution.
“Apply it to your hands, not to the children’s face, and apply it yourself to the child’s face,” said Debi. “Don’t let them do it, because they tend to lick their lips, or they can spread it into their eyes and they get it into their mouths and such.”
If the insect spray gets into your eyes and mouth, make sure to rinse very well with water. Insect repellent doesn’t guarantee you won’t get bitten or stungs, though, and if you do get an itch, Debi says the next stop is to go to the kitchen. “Make a paste of baking soda and water, mix it thick like a toothpaste consistency, and put it on the site,” said Debi. “That’s really soothing to the site.”
For something like a snake bite, though, you will need to do quite a bit more than that. But what you’ve heard about home remedies is likely untrue. For one, you can’t try to suck out snake venom, and icing the bite or applying a tourniquet are also not what to do. Old remedies like this can cause permanent tissue damage, and you should instead head straight to a hospital.
“First of all, don’t panic,” said Debi. “Secondly, don’t try to pick up the snake, don’t try to retrieve the snake, if you can safely take a picture of the snake, that’s absolutely OK, but don’t feel like you have to bring the snake into the hospital with you or anything like that, that just risks getting bitten a second time.”