I love spending time outdoors with my family and will do whatever I can to make that happen. The only thing I don’t enjoy about summertime fun? Bug bites! Hopefully, my toddlers aren’t allergic to mosquito bites like I am; yeah, it’s as fun as it sounds. Imagine the annoyance of a mosquito bite - then multiply that by ten and make it last for five days. Heads up: if you or your baby has type O blood, you’re both more likely to be bothered by and allergic to mosquitoes. Unfortunately, mosquitoes aren’t the only bug that can bite or sting. When your bug bites your baby, it’s not usually an emergency and can be treated at home. These tips will help you cut the itch and make your outdoor time much more enjoyable!
Prevent Bug Bites If Possible
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! The best way to treat bug bites and stings is to prevent them as much as possible. Don’t let water get stagnant around your house - keep gutters clear and avoid hazards like rain-filled buckets. If you find a beehive in or around your home, contact a local apiary to do a swarm removal. Bees are extremely important to our ecosystem and their populations are diminishing, so don’t kill them! On the other hand, wasps and other stingers are totally uncool and I don’t blame you for spraying to prevent them from building nests near your home. Use an insect repellent that works for your family.
Identify The Bug That Bit Your Baby
You did your best to prevent a bite, but your baby got stung by something anyway. Not to worry - most bites and stings will be uncomfortable but don’t harm them in other ways. Keep an eye out for possible allergic reactions - intense swelling, puffy lips or tongue, or difficulty breathing. If you see these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Otherwise, follow the tips below to treat bugs bites on babies and young children.
Don’t scratch. I know, trust me - I KNOW. But scratching mosquito bites causes blood to rush to the area which can spread the bug’s toxin. Worse yet, scratching a bug bite can cause an open wound. Once the bite is an open wound you’re far more susceptible to infection. Plus it might leave a scar! Worst of all, most itch-relief remedies can’t be used on broken skin.
Scrape the stinger out with a credit card. Don’t squeeze it! Squeezing with tweezers or fingers can push more of the venom into the skin.
Removing ticks can be tricky. Grab a pair of pointed tweezers and some rubbing alcohol. Clean the skin around the tick, then put the tweezers right next to the skin and grasp the tick’s head. Don’t crush it and don’t twist or wiggle the tick. Simply pull up using firm and steady pressure. Once it’s removed, use rubbing alcohol to clean the area again. Save the tick! It can be tested for Lyme disease, which will help your doctor determine the next treatment steps. Keep it alive in a container with a blade of grass. Whatever you do, don’t crush it - that just spreads any diseases it might be carrying. If you’re not worried about testing for Lyme disease, flush the tick or drown it in rubbing alcohol.
Spider bites are usually just an annoyance, but they can be serious in rare circumstances. If you think your child was bitten by a poisonous spider, seek immediate medical attention. Otherwise, simply wash the bite with soap and water and watch for any more serious symptoms: nausea, vomiting, headaches, muscle aches, or stomach pain are all cause for concern.
Over-The-Counter Bug Bite Treatments
Any drugstore will have a plethora of over-the-counter treatments for insect bites. Use what works best for your family! Cortisone creams are the most recommended to control the itch and knock down skin irritation. Be careful with calamine lotion; it is possible to use too much and get sick!
- Calamine Lotion
Home Remedies To Soothe Insect Bites
If you’d rather treat your bug bites without visiting the pharmacy, you can give these DIY remedies a spin.
- Baking Soda & Water: Make a paste and smear it on the bite.
- Potato: Cut a potato and place it over the mosquito bite; must be done within the first few minutes after the bite.
- Ammonia: Do NOT use this on broken skin or on babies that might lick their bites. A q-tip soaked in ammonia works wonders (and it’s the active ingredient in After Bite)!
- Ice: Soothe itchy skin and reduce inflammation with cold compresses or an ice cube.
- Mint Toothpaste: Menthol in the toothpaste cools the itchy and burn of bug bites.