9/18/23 blog post
when to be concerned about bug bites
in this article:
- What are the signs of a bug bite?
- How to treat bug bites
- When to be concerned about bug bites
- How to avoid bug bites
Mosquitoes, ticks, flies, spiders and all things that crawl enjoy the warmer weather just like us. And you probably know that bites from these guys can make us miserable, especially our kiddos. Some of these bugs carry diseases such as West Nile Virus or Lyme disease which can be very dangerous. If your child gets stung or bitten, it’s important to know how to treat a bug bite and when you should be concerned!
Bug bites often appear as a raised, red bump on the skin. These bumps can be very itchy or sting, depending on the type of bug. Bug bites can also swell up and hurt.
Most bug bites can be treated at home. There are a few things to help stop the itch or sting:
- Wash the area with soap and water
- Use calamine lotion or other anti-itch creams
- Place an icepack on the area
It’s very rare to have a sever allergic reaction to a bug bite. Signs of a severe allergic reaction to a bug bite may include:
- Severe swelling
If your child has recently been bitten by a bug and is experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
If enjoying time outside, use insect repellent that contains DEET. DEET is an oily liquid with a mild smell that bugs don’t like. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), insect repellents used on children shouldn’t contain more than 30% DEET. Insect repellent should not be used on children younger than 2-months-old. Read and follow the directions on the product to ensure you are using it safely and correctly.
Obviously, it’s impossible to avoid bugs altogether but you can try the following tips to reduce the number of bites your child gets:
- Avoid areas that you know attract bugs – garbage cans, stagnant water such as swamps, rivers and lakes, and flowerbeds.
- Wear long pants and lightweight, long sleeve shirts when possible. A hat can also help keep bugs away from the face.
- Avoid wearing bright colors or flowery prints because they can attract insects.
- Don’t use scented perfumes or hairsprays because they may attract insects.
- Always check your child’s skin after outdoor play for ticks.
If you’re concerned about a bug bite, call your child’s pediatrician or visit one of our five convenient Kids Express locations.