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Curr Opin Pediatr. 2006 Apr;18(2):180-3.

Mosquito repellents and superwarfarin rodenticides--are they really toxic in children?

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Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama 35233, USA.



In many United States households, there are many substances used to control the exposure of our children to mosquitoes, mice and rats. This review provides information on common mosquito repellents and rodenticides used in households and discusses their toxicity, in order to help pediatricians better advise their patients of their proper use.


A recent study has demonstrated that many continue to have practices of applying DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) based repellents that may lead to undesirable effects. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are two products that have recently been shown to have an efficacy similar to that of DEET-based repellents. Studies within the last five years show that most unintentional superwarfarin ingestions can be managed at home with close outpatient follow-up. There does not appear to be a benefit of prophylactic vitamin K or gastrointestinal decontamination in patients with relatively small ingestions of superwarfarins.


With education and correct usage, mosquito repellents and the superwarfarin rodenticides can help protect children from significant vector-borne diseases. Not all exposures lead to significant morbidity or mortality. With recognition of the current literature, most of these exposures can be managed safely at home or as an outpatient, ultimately saving healthcare costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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