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First Aid & Emergencies

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Understanding Insect and Spider Bites -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Insect and Spider Bites?

DEET is the most effective insect repellent. It can be found in a variety of lotions and sprays and purchased in most drug stores. There has been some concern about the negative effects of using this chemical, particularly for children, but none of the natural plant products are likely to be as reliable. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that DEET not be used on children younger than two months of age.

Picaridin is a plant-derived compound and is also somewhat effective against mosquitoes and ticks.

Recommended Related to First Aid


Nosebleeds can be dramatic and frightening. Luckily, most nosebleeds are not serious and can be handled fairly easily. They are divided into two types, depending on whether the bleeding is coming from the anterior (front of the nose) or posterior (back of the nose). Anterior nosebleeds make up more than 90% of all nosebleeds. The bleeding usually comes from a blood vessel at the very front part of the nose. Anterior nosebleeds are usually easy to control, either by measures that can be performed...

Read the Nosebleeds article > >

Essential oil of eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus) is a natural insect repellent. Make a solution by adding five drops or eucalyptus oil to 1 cup of water and dab it on your skin. Essential oil of citronella also discourages insects when placed on exposed skin. A few dabs of calendula (calendula officinalis) ointment on the face, arms, and legs may keep insects away and is also available as a commercially available product.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 22, 2015

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