Annoying bug bites typically cause temporary discomfort, itching or pain without any lasting effects. In some serious cases, pediatric allergies can cause infections that need to be treated or an allergic reaction that can cause anaphylaxis— or even death.
If you know the signs of an infection or allergic reaction, you will be able to soothe your child or seek pediatric medical attention if necessary. If your child has a history of allergies to bug bites or stings, make sure you tell potential caregivers in case of an emergency. Additionally, you can take steps to prevent bug bites and stings in the first place. Keep reading for tips on how to protect your family.
Prevent flea infestations
Regularly vacuum your house and treat carpets, furniture and pets especially— during warmer months.
Avoid common mosquito breeding areas, such as pools, ponds or standing water. You have a better chance of avoiding mosquito bites if you remove standing water from places like birdbaths, apply insect repellent before going outside, and stay indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Keep tabs on ticks
Because ticks are often found in parks and wooded areas, it's best to stay on trails in these public spaces and away from high grass and wooded areas where ticks may be hiding. Check kids for ticks every few hours and before you come inside for the day, and immediately remove any that you find. Check behind ears, on the scalp, the neck, armpits, in the groin area and behind the knees. Have kids shower as soon as they come in from outdoors and check your pets when they come inside, too.
Use insect repellent
Using insect repellant when spending time outdoors can help protect you from a variety of bug bites and stings. Look for repellents with 10-30 percent DEET that are approved to repel mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs. Repellents with picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are only effective against mosquitoes. Be sure to check what age range the product is appropriate for, and read and follow the instructions on any insect repellents. And try not to use too much; repellent is safe to reapply as needed, but extra repellent won't provide any additional protection.
Covering up in wooded areas can help keep your kids protected, including tucking in loose clothing. Along with tucking shirts into pants, you can also tuck pant legs into socks. Also, be sure to wear shoes and socks outside, even if it's just for a minute. Bees and wasps hiding in the grass can sting unprotected feet.
Watch out for spiders
Spiders often live in undisturbed piles of wood, seldom-opened boxes or corners behind furniture, so proceed with caution. Consider calling a professional pest control company to assess the situation if you find a large number of spider shells lying around a particular area.
Use common sense
Some additional tips include wearing gloves when gardening, not disturbing bee or wasp nests, and avoiding swatting at buzzing insects that may sting if threatened.