Every summer when the mosquitoes arrive for their annual summer feasting, the same dreadful thought arrives with them: What about West Nile virus? And every year I push the thought out of my mind because clearly the mosquitoes are winning. But when was the last time you actually heard of someone contracting West Nile Virus?
How about this toddler from Dallas: Olivia Lalicker came down with a fever around the same time her parents noticed some mosquito bites on her face and tested positive for West Nile. It turns out the fever wasn't even related to the virus, though. In fact, she didn't show any symptoms of the virus at all. Does that mean it's not really that big of a deal? Have we been worrying over nothing?
That would be swell! It's hard enough for adults to keep the mosquitoes away -- keeping your kids skeeter-free is even harder. I've always struggled with this dilemma. Spray my kid down with potentially toxic but invincible bug spray, or use the weak herbal stuff and risk West Nile? Or just give up because, man, constantly spraying your kids with stuff all summer long is a pain and you're already struggling to keep up with the sunscreen?
There are a few less-toxic bug sprays out there that I feel safe applying to a child. Bite Blocker works for us, but it's kind of sticky and smelly. Skin-So-Soft is almost as good and smells better. And then there's wearing long sleeves and pants ... a total non-solution since bugs will bite right through anything light enough to actually wear in the summer.
But apparently West Nile is not that big a deal. Who knew? Unless you have other health issues or are over 50 (i.e. not a healthy toddler), if you get the virus, you probably won't even get sick. Phew! Because I don't know about you, but even though I know the mosquitoes are hanging around for at least another month, I am SO OVER chasing down repellent-repelling kids. Aren't you?
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Do you use bug repellent on your toddler? What kind do you use?
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