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Summer means shorts, sandals, and sleeveless shirts. But all that exposed flesh provides a big target for summer's menace: Mosquitoes.
More than an annoyance, mosquitoes spread life-threatening diseases like West Nile virus that killed 284 people last year.
Prof. Jonathan Day, Ph.D./ University of Florida: "WEST NILE HAS CAUSED EPIDEMICS IN NORTH AMERICA EVERY SUMMER SINCE IT WAS FIRST INTRODUCED IN 1999."
Female mosquitoes bite people and animals because they need a protein found in blood to help develop their eggs.
But you can protect yourself and your children.
DR. DAY: "FOLLOW THE THREE RULES: NUMBER ONE, AVOID MOSQUITOES. NUMBER TWO, IF YOU CAN'T AVOID MOSQUITOES, COVER UP AS MUCH SKIN AS YOU CAN. AND NUMBER THREE, USE PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN DEET THAT GIVE US THE LONGEST PROTECTION TIME WITH A SINGLE APPLICATION ON ALL EXPOSED SKIN."
Here's how it works.
Mosquitoes are drawn to people by skin odors and carbon dioxide from their breath.
The chemicals repel the mosquito, so the person is no longer attractive for biting.
Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents that repellents should be used when there is a need to prevent insect-borne disease.
Both organizations urge people to follow label directions.
Other tips include wearing light colored long sleeved shirts and long pants, and a hat, to protect against mosquitoes.
And avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, at sunset and sunrise.
Simple tips for parents and children alike.
Deet is not recommended for use on children under two months of age.
And don't use deet on the hands of young children-- they tend to put their hands in their mouths. And avoid applying to the area around the eyes and mouth.