If an insect stings your child, act without delay. Despite being unpleasant and / or painful, most stings are harmless and only cause slight discomfort. But, sometimes, the reaction can be dangerous if it is not treated in time. Learn
When the weather is nice, the parents encourage the children to play in the garden, take them for walks in the park and plan different outdoor activities. In all these places you will surely have fun and a very unpleasant company: insects, and with them, their annoying bites. But do not deprive yourself of enjoying nature, you just have to be prepared. In general, insect bites irritate the skin, but do not cause serious problems or require medical help. The pain and discomfort are usually transient, and almost always begin to disappear the next day. Sometimes, however, infections that require medical treatment, or allergic reactions that can be very serious.
Do you know how to act before a bite? Follow these tips to treat them quickly and correctly:
- The itching caused by the bites of mosquitoes, fleas, red ants and bed bugs is relieved by applying compresses or calamine lotion on any part of the child’s body, with the exception of the area around the eyes and genitals. If the itching or pain is very severe, consult your pediatrician before applying creams, lotions or other home remedies. The pediatrician may prescribe an oral antihistamine (taken).
- If it is bee or wasp stings, soak a cloth in cold water and press it on the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.
- If the sting is a bee, the insect dies, but the stinger stays in the skin and it is important that you remove it immediately and in its entirety, scraping it horizontally with the edge of a credit card, for example, or with your nails, very careful not to irritate the area anymore. Do not remove it with tweezers, as you can squeeze the poison bag, and thus increase the amount of it that is released into the skin. The wasps when stinging do not leave the sting, but they do not die, and they can sting again.
- If it is a tick bite, remove the head with tweezers, without twisting it or moving it abruptly. Do not use petroleum jelly or light matches to remove the tick. Then clean the area with alcohol. Wash the affected area well with warm water and soap several times a day until the wound heals.
- Cover the affected area with ice wrapped in a cloth. Leave it for 10 minutes, remove it and repeat.
- To relieve pain, give the child acetaminophen or ibuprofen; For pain and itching, give an over-the-counter antihistamine orally. But always with the permission of the pediatrician.
- Keep your child’s nails short and clean to minimize the risk of infection if scratched. Better yet, try not to scratch the affected area.
When to seek medical help.
Although insect bites and stings can usually be treated at home, some people have allergic reactions, sometimes so serious that they become dangerous and require urgent medical attention. If your child experiences any of these symptoms after an insect bite, seek immediate medical help:
- Sudden difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath or wheezing.
- Oppression in the chest or throat.
- Weakness or unconsciousness (loss of knowledge).
- Hives or itching throughout the body.
- Great inflammation near the eyes, lips or penis, which causes difficulty in seeing, eating and urinating.
- Bruised skin.
- Nausea or vomiting.
A sting anywhere in the mouth requires immediate attention, because it can cause severe swelling and can clog the airways. Also if there is a rash on the skin that extends, if it is very extensive in the area of the bite or if it persists for more than three days, since they could be symptoms of infection.
Very important: learn to prevent bites.
It is impossible to completely prevent insect bites, but you can minimize the risks of your child suffering them, following these rules:
- Prevent children from going to areas where insects congregate, such as trash cans, water puddles, uncovered foods and sweets, orchards and flowering gardens.
- If the child is going to places where there are insects, have him wear pants and shirts with long sleeves, preferably lightweight fabrics. That way he will be more protected.
- Not seen with brightly colored clothes or with floral prints, which tend to attract insects.
- Do not apply scented perfumes, soaps or hair sprays, as they also attract insects.
- Prevent the child from provoking the insects, and make sudden and rapid movements near the hives or the nests of the insects.
- Be careful if you are going to eat in open spaces, especially if there are sweets or sugary drinks. Always keep food covered.
Be careful with insect repellents
It is advisable to apply insect repellents to children, but only if they are of appropriate age. The most common insecticides contain DEET, a chemical that is not recommended for children less than two months old, and should not be used more than once a day in older children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends repellents with 30% DEET for children over six months. These repellents, however, are effective for the bites of mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, but not for stinging insects such as bees, hornets and wasps.
The most important thing to protect your child from insect bites is to take preventive measures and know the signs of infections and allergic reactions. And if you notice any suspicious symptoms, do not wait to seek medical help. How quickly you act can depend on the health and maybe even the life of your child.