Mosquitoes use their mouth to puncture the skin’s surface and suck our blood. This immediately leads to an itchy, red bump. The best way to prevent the majority of mosquito bites is to be vigilant about where your child plays outdoors, but as you know – bites can happen to even the most attentive.
Minimize the scratching by getting savvy about treating mosquito bites:
- If you happen to catch a mosquito on your child, gently sweep it off by using your hand. Apply ice to the scene of the crime to prevent itching and swelling.
- If you see the red bump later, apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to treat the itching as needed.
- Explain to your child that scratching or picking will make the bug bite worse and trim their fingernails as short as possible.
- If you see any signs of infection – swelling or pus – call your doctor. Some mosquitoes can carry disease so be aware if your child starts having other symptoms like fever, headache, nausea, or vomiting. Check in with your pediatrician immediately if these symptoms occur close to a bite.
To help prevent bites in the first place, try these tips:
- Remove standing water in your yard, especially kiddie pools and bird baths – these are perfect breeding grounds for bugs. Go through the yard at the end of each play day and dump out any remaining water.
- Use Citronella candles. These are available at most hardware or drug stores.
- Plant mosquito repelling plants in your yard, like geranium plants. Their strong lemony scent helps to repel mosquitos.
- Use insect repellent sparingly on infants and young children since most common insecticides are made with the chemical DEET. Be careful about concentration levels. If you are aren’t sure if a particular insect repellent is safe for your family, ask your doctor to recommend a safe one.
- Dress your child in long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you’re going to be somewhere mosquitoes can’t be avoided. Also, be weary of bright colors, as they can attract insects.
Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care
Children often present different symptoms than adults and may need different prescriptions and treatments. AllKids pediatric providers are trained to know and recognize these differences, so your child receives the best health care available to them in the most urgent of circumstances. Both our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care and our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care are open every day from noon to 10 pm. No appointment is necessary, just stop in and start your child on the road back to health.