Last month, Dr. Sarah Kohl helped us choose the right insect repellent for us and our children:

  • Pick a product that is proven to be effective.
  • Apply repellents according to the package instructions.
  • Pick products that last long enough to protect your family the whole time you are outdoors.


Most insect bites are annoying and uncomfortable. But recently we have been experiencing an increase in Lyme disease here in Western Pennsylvania. It’s a good idea to protect your child from insect bites when playing outside.


Ann Lukits says researchers have found a better way to remove and kill ticks that have gotten onto clothing:

There is a better way to kill ticks on your clothes than the method often recommended currently, new research suggests. The study, published online in the journal Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, says just six minutes spinning dry clothes in a hot dryer should kill all the ticks and reduce the risk of tick-related illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends washing tick-infested clothes and then drying them for one hour.

The recent research found that drying time can be significantly reduced if clothes aren’t washed first, as ticks are extremely sensitive to dryness.

Drying should be combined with other prevention methods, such as the use of repellent, the study said. Tick bites are responsible for an estimated 300,000 Lyme-disease infections in the U.S. a year, and several other diseases, according to the study, conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in Colorado.


That last point is crucial: use insect repellents as a first line for Lyme disease prevention. You can’t put your kids in the dryer along with their clothes!


(Back pat: Dr. Sarah Kohl, Pediatric Alliance — Chartiers/McMurray)


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