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Family Says Girl Suffered Burn From Bug-Repelling Wristband

NORTHRIDGE ( — A Northridge family is sounding a warning about a bug repellent contained in wristbands that children can wear to ward off insects.

As CBS2's Kristine Lazar reports, the family says a daughter suffered a severe skin reaction from wearing a wristband.

Jen Fox said her daughter suffered first-degree chemical bands from wearing the band at camp.

"I was just so mad. I felt betrayed, honestly, from a product that is marketed for kids," Fox said.

Bug bands sold at Target and other stores are marketed as wristbands proven to repel insects using naturally derived ingredients and safe for children older than 3.

But when Ella wore her band at camp, she woke up with a red mark that went all the way around her wrist.

"About two days later, it started to swell up and truly look like a burn," Fox said.

The girl's pediatrician diagnosed her with a chemical burn, her mother said.

A spokesperson for the bug bands said most complaints have been from consumers who didn't use the product properly. The company recommends consumers not sleep with the bands on overnight and that children with sensitive skin not use them.

Fox said her daughter didn't wear the band overnight and has no known skin allergies.

Stephen Jones, a doctor at Northridge Hospital, recommends against using the bands because they put too high a concentration of repellent too close to the skin for too long.

The company responded that the bands have been shown effective and safe in third-party laboratory testing and that it will update its website after reviewing its caution statement about the product.


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