How to Treat Insect Bites and Stings in Kids Q&A
If your child has a reaction to an insect sting, your child has a probability of future reactions. Your medical provider at Walking Urgent Care in Coral Springs, FL will help you know how to treat your child’s sting and how to best prepare for any future stings. Call us today for more information or schedule an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
How do you identify bug bites and stings?
What are the signs of an allergic reaction to a bug bite?
When should I take my child to a doctor for a bug bite?
Stings from insects such as mosquitoes, bees, or wasps often cause redness, pain, itching and swelling, around the sting. However, they don’t usually cause reactions all over the body.
The redness and swelling may be worse in children than in adults and may extend 3 to 4 inches beyond the sting.
Insects, such as mosquitoes, flies, wasps, ants and bees, may bite or sting if you get close. Most bugs won’t bother you if you don’t bother them (except those pesky mosquitoes) but knowing what to look for is significant.
Different insect bites have different effects on people. With a tick bite, you may not even realize you have been bitten but with a wasp or bee sting, the initial contact may be painful and it is often followed by a minor allergic reaction to the venom from the bite (redness or swelling).
The majority of stings and bites generate nothing more than minor discomfort, but some can be deadly, especially if you have severe allergies to insect venom.
Knowing what insect has bitten you or your child, helps you determine how to apply first aid to the infected area; the form a bite/sting takes also depends on what type of insect bit you.
These are some common bug bites and stings characteristics:
Mosquito bites: small, round, puffy bump that appears soon after you’ve been bitten and becomes itchy, red and swollen.
Fire ants: gives a painful sting and often leave a swollen pustule on the skin.
Ticks: bites can cause pain or swelling and may also lead to a rash, burning sensation or blister.
Spider bites: while most spider bites give a mild reaction, the brown recluse can be more painful. The bite will appear red with a central, white blister at the site of the bite.
Horsefly bites: An instant, sharp burning feeling occurs with a horsefly bite; you may experience bruising, redness, swelling and itchiness.
Bee stings: Pain, redness, swelling, or itching occurs at the site of the sting.
A white spot develops where the stinger penetrates the skin. The stinger will need to be removed in order to provide first aid.
Wasp stings: wasps can sting multiple times and their stings create sharp pain, swelling, redness and burning or itching occurs at the sting site. Their venom is stronger than bees and people who are allergic to wasp stings can go into anaphylactic shock.
Although most people who are stung or bitten by insects experience pain, swelling, redness and itching in the area around the bite or sting, this is a normal reaction. Most people recover within a few days.
However, people can have a serious and sometimes life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to stinging or biting insects. Some symptoms include:
– Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
– Dizziness and/or fainting
– Skin rashes, also known as hives.
– Shortness of breath and wheezing
– Stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea
As these are life-threatening symptoms, it is imperative to call 911 and seek medical help.
If your child has reacted to a bite or sting, they are at risk for future reactions so it’s best to be prepared.
Call 911 for emergency medical care anytime you think your child has symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as:
– Swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue or throat.
– Trouble breathing.
– Rash all over the body
– If your child feels faint or suddenly feels weak, jumbled, or restless.
Take your child to your doctor or seek immediate medical care if:
Your child has signs of an allergic reaction away from the bite or sting area such as:
– A rash or small area of hives.
– Belly pain, nausea, or vomiting.
– Your child has increased swelling around the site of the sting or bite and it has extended to the entire arm or leg.
Your child has signs of infection, such as:
– Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the sting or bite.
– Red streaks leading from the area.
– Pus draining from the sting or bite.
– A fever.
The medical professionals at Walking Urgent Care are trained in treating children’s bug bites and stings. We serve patients from Coral Springs FL, Tamarac FL, Parkland FL, Margate FL, North Lauderdale FL, Coconut Creek FL.