Are you worried about the bed bug bites on your child? The bites severely affect the quality of your child’s life, and effective preventive and curative measures should be taken to restore normalcy in the life of your child. How do you know when the child is suffering from the bed bug bites?
This article will provide you with valuable information on the appearance and symptoms of bed bug bites on the babies, tips to prevent the bites and the ideal time to consult a pediatrician.
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What Do Bites Look Like on Babies?
Bed bug bites present differently in children. However, there are clear signs that differentiate the bites from those of mosquitoes, spiders or the fleas. The bites primarily appear on the open areas of the skin such as the face, legs, and the arms.
In children, the bed bug bites manifest the following signs:
- Itchiness and a persistent urge to scratch the affected section of the skin. This may be accompanied by a swell. When the area that was bitten is covered with hair, the swell may appear like a follicle in the skin’s origin.
- If the child has a serious allergic reaction, they may develop a welt. It is important to note that the bites do not have a bite mark at the center. If the welt has a bite mark, it eliminates the chances that it’s a bed bug bite.
- The child’s skin may break if they scratch it hard enough. This causes a sore which makes the bed bug bite susceptible to infections. Although the occurrence is rare, it is important to clean the area to keep off the infectious agents. The cleaning can be done using home-made or synthetic antiseptics.
- Some children severely react to the bed bug bites and suffer from shock. In such a situation, you should seek medical attention. The children may show signs of mild fever and breathlessness accompanied by wheezing.
Bed bug bites can easily be differentiated from bites from mosquitoes, spiders, and fleas. The welts formed as a result of bed bug bites lack the center bite mark.
Symptoms of Bites in Kids
Parents may sometimes confuse the bed bug bites with the bites from mosquitoes, spiders, and fleas. It is important to know the clear signs and symptoms that confirm a bed bug bite.
The bites are characterized by pink, small, flat bumps on the skin of the open body areas including:
- the hands,
These bumps are majorly red and itchy. As a result, the children will show signs of discomfort including vigorous scratching of their skins. They may go to the extent of scratching the skin against objects. A close look on the bumps may suggest several bites in a row which lack a bite mark at the center.
As a way of showing their discomfort, the children may frequently cry and refuse to eat due to the itchy feeling on the bed bug sites. Additionally, the bed bug bites may easily break if the scratching is too rough for the skin to handle. When such a situation occurs, the skin’s integrity is interfered with and expose the child to the risk of infection.
Upon noting these symptoms, the parent can apply the following methods to relieve the child from the suffering:
- Apply corticosteroid cream.
These are low-strength topical applications that are helpful in relieving the itching sensation from the toddler’s skin. They come in different formulations, but the most commonly used are ointments and creams. The product’s risk profile is relatively low, and they are sold over the counter to relieve pain and itchiness. The major ingredient of the product is hydrocortisone, which is safer for application on the skin. However, you should always avoid applying the cream on the face and the folded regions of the skin.
- Ensure that you keep your child’s nails short and clean.
The bed bug bites symptoms include itchy sensation which forces the child to scratch the skin. To find out more symptoms, go here. If the nails are long, the skin may break leading to bruises. The dirt in the nails serves as the best habitat for infectious bacteria. Therefore, the bacteria are immediately introduced to the compromised skin which highly increases the risk of bacterial or fungal infection. The infestation can lead to other health complications.
- Application of baking powder paste has a relieving effect on the skin. It has been proven to reduce the itching from your child’s skin significantly. The paste also has an incredible ability to reduce the swelling. As a result, this will reduce the frequent cries and scratching of the skin and restore the laughter in your child. You should always ensure that you apply just enough baking powder paste to avoid spillage which may lead to staining of the nearby fabrics.
- Use Neem paste.
The paste has a quick onset of action to protect your child from the skin discomfort occasioned by the bite. Even better, the preparation can easily be done at home by crushing the Neem leaves to form a paste. The well-mixed paste is then carefully applied on the affected area.
- Apply a mixture of sandal paste and turmeric.
This mixture has a duo-effect of cooling the skin and acting as a potent antiseptic to prevent bacterial infections. The white sandal offers the cooling effect while the turmeric has great antiseptic properties. However, you should always ensure that you prepare the mixture from fresh materials to give you the best results.
Tips to Prevent Bites
Bed bug bites are a cause for worry for any caring parent. They cause immense suffering to the toddlers. As a result, you should always take the necessary precautionary measures to protect your children from suffering from the discomfort posed by the bites. The following are essential tips on how to get rid of bed bug bites completely.
The surest way to get rid of bed bug bites is by eliminating the bed bugs from your home.
This can be achieved through the following means:
- Wash the linens in hot water.
The bed bugs cannot withstand water at high temperature. Cleaning all the bedding with boiled water and then drying them using a hot dryer eliminates the bed bugs. You should also wash all the other materials in the room to remove the possibility of re-infestation. This includes the cleaning of the curtains and the furniture in the room. Ensure that you sprinkle the hot water through the cracks on the furniture to remove them from their hiding places. You should also scrub the furniture thoroughly to remove the eggs of the bedbugs and eliminate any chance of future infestation.
- Vacuum all the rooms and the mattresses.
You should ensure that you thoroughly vacuum clean all the crevices to do away with the eggs completely. Also try as much as you can to seal these cracks because they serve as the best habitat for the bed bugs. Ensure that all the materials in the house are inspected for traces of bed bugs and that the necessary bug removal measures are taken.
- When the infestation is severe, you can always opt to use chemical pesticides to eliminate the bugs.
These chemicals can be purchased from licensed outlets after which you will apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Alternatively, you can outsource the work to qualified pest control agents who will spray your house professionally to eradicate the bed bugs. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings carefully. Some of the repellents are toxic and should not be sprayed in the presence of the children. As such, make sure that necessary protective measures are taken when applying the pesticides to prevent poisoning which may lead to severe complications and eventual death.
When to Seek Medical Care
The manifestation of the bed bug bites takes different times in different individuals. On average, the symptoms are visible within 12 hours. When subjected to the self-care at home, the symptoms are expected to resolve. If the symptoms persevere, there is need to seek medical care.
It is also imperative to note that some children may develop complicated allergic reactions that may be characterized by:
- loss of appetite,
If such a situation develops, there is need to immediately seek medical attention so that the child can be given the appropriate dose of anti-histamine to resolve the problem.
The doctor examines the child and may decide to apply any of the following:
Medication. The doctor decides on the right medicine to prescribe for the child depending on the type and severity of the condition.
The most commonly used products include:
- Lacto Calamine Cream.
The products have excellent anti-allergic and cooling effects that help your child resume their normal lives. However, these products should only be used with a recommendation from the doctor. Also, avoid applying the products around the eyes, hands and the genital region. If the bites are painful, the doctor may prescribe the correct doses of pain killers to relieve the child from the pain.
- A cooling effect. The bed bug bite can be very itchy, and it is every doctor’s priority to reduce the itching effect. The doctor can prescribe home-based care to ease the pain. This may include the use of ice bergs or a piece of cloth dipped in cold water.
Bed bug bites can be painful and cause a lot of discomfort to your children. It is, therefore, paramount that great care is taken to protect them from such harm. Both the preventive and curative measures are vital for ensuring the health of your toddler. As such, you should carefully follow the tips outlined in this article to detect the bites, manage them and prevent future bed bug bites.
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.