DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) is an insect repellent found in many commercial products. It is effective and safe when used properly. If misused it can have serious side effects, especially in children.


DEET comes in varying concentrations:

(1) strengths up to 30% can be used by adults

(2) strengths up to 10% can be used by children >= 2 years of age

(3) higher concentrations (50%, 75%) may be used on tents or screens but care should be taken not to allow skin exposure.


Contraindications for skin exposure:

(1) children < 2 years of age

(2) pregnant women



(1) directly to skin if not contraindicated

(2) pets

(3) clothing

(4) tents

(5) bedrolls

(6) screens


Do not apply to children's bedding or bedclothes


Instructions for Use:

(1) It should be washed off when a person is back indoors

(2) Excessive use should be avoided.


Excessive exposure (higher than recommended concentrations and/or excessive exposure) may result in:

(1) skin reactions (rashes, irritation, burning, etc.)

(2) cognitive impairment or mood dysfunction

(3) toxic encephalopathy or seizures in children (should prompt screen for ornithine transcarbamylase enzyme deficiency)


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