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Warm weather is finally upon us, and along with sunny days come pesky bugs! Mosquitoes and ticks are just part of the summer experience, but some can harbor illnesses that can be passed on to humans and have the potential to make us sick. And this year, with Zika so often in the news, everyone is even more aware of the importance of using bug spray (Read our full article on Zika by Dr. Aronson.).

Since not all bug sprays are created equal, here is a helpful guide to help navigate through the large web of bug repellents.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends using products that are certified by the EPA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Deet offers the best protection. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol should only be used on children 3 and up.

Remember to reapply! Typically the higher percentage of active ingredient, the longer the protection lasts. Reapply after excessive sweating, swimming or if you start to get bug bites.

Safety First! Use care when applying sprays, never spray directly on a child’s face, spray on your hands first, and then apply to the face.

Never leave children unattended with bug sprays.

After you’re done playing, wash the spray from your skin.

While it is fine to use both bug spray and sunscreen at the same time, it is better to avoid combination products and then be sure to read package directions before application.

Have fun, enjoy the weather and stay safe!