How to Treat Insect Bites and Stings in Kids Questions and Answers

Night Lite Pediatrics offers comprehensive treatments for insect bites and stings. Walk-ins welcome.

How to Treat Insect Bites and Stings in Kids Questions and Answers
How to Treat Insect Bites and Stings in Kids Questions and Answers

Bug bites and stings can be unpleasant and often occurs while spending time outdoors. Since bug bites and stings are somewhat inevitable, it is important to stay informed when a bug bite requires medical attention. At Night Lite Pediatrics, our pediatricians can provide you and your child with excellent care, treatment, and medical advice when it comes to treating insect bites and stings.

How to identify bug bites and stings?

In general, bug bites and stings typically result in red and swollen spots on the skin. However, you can sometimes identify the type of bug bite or sting by paying attention to the bite or sting pattern and the reaction to the bite or sting. With that in mind, the following include common patterns and reactions of various bug bites and stings:

• Bee and wasp stings: instant pain, redness, and swelling, with an indentation or stinger in the middle of the swelling. Your child may experience a bee sting if they are playing near flowers, shrubs, or picnic areas.

• Fire ant bites: instant pain and burning sensation, sometimes with cloudy fluid around the swollen bite. Fire ants can be encountered in pastures, lawns, meadows, or parks.

• Mosquito bites: no immediate symptoms, but the skin becomes itchy, red, and swollen later on. Mosquitoes are attracted to bright colors and congregate near water.

• Spider bites: usually no immediate symptoms, but skin can become painful, red, and swollen later on, and may have a small white blister with a red or purple ring around it, resembling a target or bullseye.

• Tick bites: ticks usually stay attached to the bitten area. After carefully and slowly removing the tick from the bite, a small, red bump may appear. Monitor the bite for any rash shaped like a ring around the bite, which could be a sign of Lyme disease. Tick bites most often occur when children are playing in wooded areas.

What are the signs of an allergic reaction to a bug bite?

Allergic reactions to bug bites can range from mild to life-threatening, with symptoms progressing gradually or rapidly. As such, if you notice that your child has experienced a bug bite, it is critical that you monitor them for allergic reactions. Some signs of an anaphylactic allergic reaction to a bug bite include the following:

  • Confusion and dizziness
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • Hives or a rash all over their body
  • Slurred speech
  • Swollen eyes, lips, or tongue
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Vomiting

If your child is experiencing the above symptoms after a bug bite, seek immediate medical attention at an urgent care clinic or emergency room. If their symptoms are life-threatening, call 911immediately and take them to an emergency room.

Life-threatening symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, swelling of the lips, eyes, and tongue, dizziness, confusion, fainting, nausea, and vomiting.

If their symptoms are concerning but not life-threatening, an urgent care clinic like ours at Night Lite Pediatrics can provide excellent care and treatment.

When should I take my child to a doctor?

While mild bug bites that do not cause an allergic reaction do not require any medical attention, you should take your child to see a doctor if they exhibit any signs of an allergic reaction. You should also see a doctor if your child experiences a bug bite or sting around the eye, mouth, or throat.

For more information on treating bug bites and stings or seeing one of our pediatricians at Night Lite Pediatrics about a bug bite or sting, we welcome you to call us or walk in for an urgent care visit. You can also schedule a telemedicine appointment if you prefer an online visit from the comfort of your home!

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