Zika Virus Information for Parents

Infants and children can be infected with Zika

  • The primary way that infants and children get Zika is through bites of two types of mosquitoes
  • To date, no cases of Zika have been reported from breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed, even in areas where Zika virus is found. 
  • Common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Symptoms usually resolve within a few days to one week. Most people infected with Zika don’t have symptoms. 
  • There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

What parents can do

  • Prevent mosquito bites.
  • To protect your child from mosquito bites
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies under 2 months of age.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
  • In children older than 2 months, do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, or to irritated or broken skin.
  • Never spray insect repellent directly on a child’s face. Instead, spray it on your hands and then apply sparingly, taking care to avoid the eyes and mouth.
  • If your child has symptoms, take him or her to see a health care provider.
  • For children with Zika symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes who have traveled to or resided in an affected area, contact your child’s health care provider and describe where you have traveled.
  • Fever greater than or equal to ≥100.4° F in a baby less than 2 months old always requires evaluation by a medical professional. If your baby is less than 2 months old and has a fever, call your health care provider or get medical care.
Resources

Below are several resources for parents.

Zika for Kids

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created this activity book to offer parents and educators an interactive way to talk to kids about how mosquito bites can make you sick. It is important to note that mosquito bites can spread viruses like West Nile, Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and others.

Sesame Street: If the Mosquito Can't Bite You, Bye-Bye Zika!
Plaza Sésamo, Si el Mosquito no te Pica, Adiós Zika!