A to Z: Insect Bites/Stings, Non-Venomous
More to Know
Non-venomous insect bites include those from mosquitoes, fleas, mites, lice, and bedbugs. The bite causes a raised red spot at the site that itches and may blister. If scratched, it can become an open sore with a risk for infection. Allergic reactions also can result from non-venomous insect bites; but, severe reactions are rare.
The bigger concern with non-venomous insects is when they carry diseases, such as mosquitoes that transmit malaria in Africa or ticks that infect people with Lyme disease in parts of the United States.
Non-venomous insect bites can be treated at home with topical ointments (applied to the skin, like calamine lotion), antihistamines, anesthetics, and moderate steroids to reduce itching.
Keep in Mind
Non-venomous bug bites are much milder than venomous bites from insects that inject poisons, like bees, wasps, hornets, or scorpions. Non-venomous bites can be a nuisance, but usually don't cause any serious or lasting health problems.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.|
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.|
|American Lyme Disease Foundation This organization is dedicated to advancing the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and control of Lyme disease.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|National Park Service This site contains information on America's national parks and the many ways you can enjoy the great outdoors.|
|First Aid: Spider Bites Most spider bites cause mild reactions, but some can cause serious illness or allergic reactions. Here's what to do if you think your child was bitten by a spider.|
|Lyme Disease Lyme disease can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and other organ systems. If diagnosed quickly and treated with antibiotics, Lyme disease in kids is almost always treatable.|
|Bedbugs Bedbugs have people on high alert, checking mattresses and furniture for telltale signs of these irritating, hard-to-control pests. Here's what to look for and how to deal with them.|
|Woods and Camping Safety for the Whole Family A family camping trip can be an enjoyable experience with a little preparation.|
|How Can I Protect My Family From Ticks? Find out what the experts say.|
|Insect Sting Allergy Insect sting allergies can cause serious reactions. Find out how to keep kids safe.|
|Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an infection transmitted by ticks. Find out more about it - including how to prevent it.|
|Evaluate Your Child's Lyme Disease Risk Does the threat of Lyme disease make you think your kids would be safer in your living room than in the great outdoors? Find out how to evaluate a child's Lyme disease risk.|
|Should My Son Be Afraid of Brown Recluse Spiders? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Are Insect Repellents With DEET Safe for Kids? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Bug Bites and Stings In most cases, bug bites and stings are just nuisances. But in some cases, they can cause infections and allergic reactions. It's important to know the signs, and when to get medical attention.|
|First Aid: Insect Stings and Bites Being stung by a bug is often just irritating and doesn't require medical treatment. But kids who are highly allergic to stings may need emergency medical care.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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