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Insect Bites

It is summer in Alabama; school is out and the sun is shining. Kids are spending more time outside, which can also increase the number of bug bites they get while playing. It is important to teach children about different types of insect bites.

Most bug bites and stings are harmless and will get better on their own without seeing a doctor. Other bug bites can be more painful and serious.  Let’s take a look at the different signs and symptoms of insect bites, and when you should see a doctor.

Common Mild Reactions:

Treat at home with over the counter lotion, antihistamines, pain medicine and ice pack if needed (see package insert for dosing instructions)

  • Red bump
  • Mild swelling
  • Itching
  • Light pain

Example: ant bite, mosquito bite, bee sting without allergic reaction

 

Common Moderate Reactions:

Your child may need to see his/her primary doctor. If you feel that it is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

  • Hives
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting

Example: spider bite, bee or wasp sting without allergic reaction

 

Serious Reactions:

Call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department

  • Swelling of the face, lips or tongue
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing

Example: Bee or ant sting with an allergy, spider bites

 

Special Treatment for Ticks:

Ticks are very common in our area and require different treatment. If you find a tick on your child:

  1. Grasp the tick with tweezers (close to your child’s skin)
  2. Pull firmly until the tick lets go of the skin
  3. Place the tick in a zip locked bag (your doctor might want to test the tick)
  4. Wash your hands
  5. Clean the tick bite site with alcohol
  6. Call your child’s doctor

 

Prevention:

Below are quick tips to keep bugs away

  • Apply bug spray that contains 10-30% DEET
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Stay away from standing water and wood piles
  • Protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and pants in wooded areas
  • Wear gloves while gardening
  • Do not disturb bee or wasp nests

 

Kids should enjoy playing outdoors while they are out of school in the summertime. Knowing what to do for bug bites and stings is very important. Go outside and have some fun with your kids, but be aware of the bugs!

 

The blog was written using content from KidsHealth.org

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