The EPA recommends the following precautions when using insect repellents:
Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label.) Do not use repellents under clothing.
Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
Do not apply to eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around ears. When using sprays, do not spray directly on face-spray on hands first and then apply to face.
Do not allow children to handle the product. When using on children, apply to your own hands first and then use the material on your hands to apply it to the child. You may not want to apply materials to children’s hands to avoid the chance they could transfer the materials to the eyes and mouth.
Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. Heavy application and saturation are generally unnecessary for effectiveness. If biting insects do not respond to a thin film of repellent, apply a bit more.
After returning indoors, promptly wash treated skin with soap and water. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly during the day or on consecutive days. Also , wash treated clothing before wearing it again. (This precaution may vary with different repellents-check the product label.
If you or your child gets a rash or other reaction from an insect repellent, shop using the repellent , wash the repellent off with mild soap and water, and call a local poison control center for further guidance. If you go t a doctor because of the repellent, take the repellent with you to show the doctor.
Note That the label for products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus specifies that they should not be used on children under the age of three years. Other tan those listed above, EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for using registered repellents on children or on pregnant or lactating women.
For additional information regarding the use of repellent on children, please see CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about Repellent use. (http://www.cdc.gob/ncidod/dvdib/westnile/qa/insect.repellent.htm)