Stings and bug bites are common among children especially during the summer and spring season. The arthropods that bite and sting often include ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, mites, flies, wasps, ants and bees. Being familiar with preventive measures and management of common bug bites and stings can help keep children safe and healthy.
Indications of bug bites and sting in children
The symptoms of bug bites usually depend on the type of insect and sensitivity level of the child. It is important to note that the symptoms can range from minimal swelling, itchiness, pain and redness to large-sized blisters or life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.
Difference between localized or systemic reactions to bug bites
The reactions that remain localized to the site of the sting or bite are not considered serious. The serious indications of anaphylaxis or severe reaction might include difficulty swallowing, tightness of the chest or throat, diaphoresis, low blood pressure, hives, dizziness, itchiness, weakness, difficulty breathing and wheezing.
Take note that these symptoms typically develop rapidly and within 30 minutes of being bit or stung. It is vital to seek immediate medical care or get in touch with the local emergency services if a child has these symptoms after an insect bite or sting.
Common bug bites and stings
- Fire ants are known to trigger severe localized reactions including pimples and reddened, swollen itchy areas that can turn into blisters. These ants often bite multiple times usually on the legs and feet.
- Mosquito bites can cause red, itchy bumps that vary in size from small up to ½ inch. They also have an elevated middle area.
- Bedbugs can cause painless bites that later on become itchy. These insects only come out to feed at night time and infrequently, which makes them hard to detect.
- Wasps, bees, hornets and yellow jackets can cause sore reddened bumps. The honey bees have a barbed stinger that is left behind at the sting site. The stinger typically appears as a black dot within the bite site if left behind.
- Tick bites are painless and do not usually itch.
- Flea bites typically affect children which leads to several, clumped reddened bumps with a middle area that crusts over.
- Chiggers also bite children and usually found in bushes and grasses. Most bites occur in the legs and along the belt line and characterized as small-sized red bumps that are severely itchy.
- Spider bites are known to trigger fear among parents but they rarely cause serious reactions in children. The poisonous spiders – black widow spider and brown recluse spiders can deliver bites that are usually painless or trigger mild irritation. In some cases, serious reactions occur rapidly and within 3-12 hours which includes nausea, diaphoresis, headache, vomiting and an elevated blood pressure.