School districts across North Texas are warning parents to take extra precautions when sending their children to school next week.
“We recommend that they follow the 'four D’s' -- that they apply a DEET product to their child if they’re out in the dawn hours," said Fort Worth school district spokesman Clint Bond.
Mosquito season will not be over until North Texas gets its first freeze. Many students will be walking to school or waiting at bus stops in the early morning hours, when mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus are still active.
“You know, it really haven’t thought of it until right now because during the summer, we haven’t got out that early” says Arlington parent Nicole Potts, “so I’ll have to think about with sending them to school though."
But many parents are already well-prepared.
"We have the Off, we have the DEET, we have the ... Deep Woods, so, yes, we’re ready to go," Parker County parent Kim Wise said.
Fort Worth and other school districts plan to send letters home with students on Monday, warning parents about the risk.
Here's an excerpt from the letter the Arlington Independent School District will send home:
"To protect your children, you should consider the following:
- Application of a mosquito repellent that contains DEET, Picardin or oil of lemon eucalyptus before children leave home in the morning. Mosquitoes are most active in the morning and evening hours. Children are at risk while outside in the morning walking to school, waiting for the bus, or traveling from their ride into the building. Most repellents are good for several hours, with many labeled as effective for 8-10 hours after application.
- Students DO NOT need to carry mosquito repellent to school. The risk of misuse or exposure of allergic students far outweighs any potential benefit.
- Parents should consider reapplying a mosquito repellent if students are participating in after-school activities and will be outside in the evening hours.
- The AISD will have DEET containing mosquito repellents for students who remain after school to participate in outdoor school sponsored activities."