WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing seasonal allergies, allergic reactions and rashes and asthma attacks.

This week, the providers of UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove are seeing cases of strep throat, RSV, and rhinovirus.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports a few cases of COVID this week, but they’re mostly seeing strep throat, allergies, viral upper respiratory infections and pink eye.

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health are seeing colds, allergies, stomach bugs, strep throat and a few cases of upper respiratory infections.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports a lot of seasonal allergies this week. They also saw ongoing strep throat cases, ear infections and viral illnesses.

Providers also reported bug bites and outdoor injuries this week.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about bug spray:

“We are entering what’s predicted to be a bad tick season. There has been a lot of concern that DEET, chemical name diethyltoluamide, within bug sprays could have a negative effect on the nerve cells of kids. There has been no scientific evidence in multiple studies that DEET affects nerve cells of humans when applied to uncovered skin. It can become harmful if a child drinks it, so it’s important to keep these products away from their reach.

DEET works by confusing the scent receptors of mosquitoes, ticks and other insects, making them unable to detect your skin as a meal option. It does not kill the bugs or alter their consciousness. The percent of DEET within a product, similar to the level of SPF within a sunscreen, will determine its length of effect. Ten percent DEET will provide approximately two hours of insect-repelling, whereas 30 percent will give four to five hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests products within that 10 to 30 percent DEET range.

Spray bug spray on exposed skin, but to avoid irritating contact to the eyes and potential oral ingestion, don’t spray on the face. It’s also good to avoid spraying the palms of the hands in younger kids, since they often put their hands in their mouth and rub their eyes. There is no need to place it directly on skin that is under clothing, but spraying clothing in a particularly buggy environment can be helpful. A fine mist is all that’s needed; a heavier application does not provide more protection.

Babies younger than two months should not be sprayed with DEET-containing products, as their skin is very absorbent. Beyond two months, these products have been deemed safe. For little babies, bug nets and avoidance are the prevention techniques of choice.

In studies to evaluate and compare efficacy in bug spray ingredients, DEET-containing products showed much more efficacy than non-DEET products. Citronella oil was found to not work well at preventing bites. While lemongrass and eucalyptus oil showed some effect against mosquitoes, they unfortunately did not repel ticks. They also have not been studied for safety in children younger than three.