Bug Bites and Stings Treatment for Children Questions and Answers

Read on to find more about bug bites and stings and how to find out if they are serious enough to seek medical attention for your child. For more information on bug bites and stings treatment, Call us today or book an appointment online. We have 2 pediatric clinics in Scottsdale AZ and Glendale AZ.

Bug Bites and Stings Treatment for Children in Scottsdale, AZ and Glendale, AZ
Bug Bites and Stings Treatment for Children in Scottsdale, AZ and Glendale, AZ

Bug bites and stings are always a downer on the fun that children spend outside. While the effects of bug bites and stings are usually a temporary period of sharp pain and unpleasantness, they do not typically have a lasting or concerning impact. However, in cases of allergic reactions or infections, medical attention may be necessary. In such situations, our pediatricians would be happy to provide your child with quick, thorough, and effective treatment of any bug bites or stings to minimize their effect on your child!

What skin conditions look like bug bites?

If you or your child has several bumps or marks on their skin, it is natural to assume they are due to a bug bite, such as a mosquito bite or bed bug bite. However, there are several different types of skin conditions that resemble bug bites, including the following:

  • Atopic dermatitis, which is a chronic skin condition
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a rare autoimmune skin condition
  • Eczema
  • Fungal infections
  • Hives, also referred to as urticaria
  • Miliaria, also known as a heat rash

With that in mind, it is a good idea to bring your child in to see their doctor or pediatrician to determine if their skin rash is due to a bug bite or skin condition.

Can kids get sick from bug bites?

In most cases, kids only experience mild symptoms from a bug bite, including a rash, or redness, swelling, and warmth where the bug bite occurs. However, flu-like symptoms may occasionally occur, including fever, chills, body aches, headaches, swollen glands, or general malaise. In addition, flu-like symptoms are sometimes a sign of more severe problems associated with the bug bite. In rare cases, kids can have an anaphylactic reaction, which is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical care at an emergency room or urgent care clinic.

How do you know if a bite is serious?

While most bug bites are not serious, they can sometimes cause severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) or illnesses. As such, it is important to know the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to a bug bite, as well as the particular illnesses that some bug bites can spread to you or your child.

With that in mind, the symptoms of anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction include the following:

  • Anxiety, confusion, or delirium
  • Clammy, flushed, and pale skin
  • Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Dizziness, fainting, or light-headedness
  • Hives all over the body
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid and weak pulse
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) or wheezing
  • Swollen tongue or throat

You should also pay attention for the signs and symptoms of various illnesses caused by bug bites, which include the following:

  • Lyme disease, which is a bacterial disease caused by tick bites and typically causes a red rash with a bite mark surrounded by a circle, resembling a target or bullseye.
  • Malaria, which is caused by a parasite passed on by mosquito bites and infects liver and red blood cells; malaria typically only occurs with individuals who have traveled to Africa, Asia, or Central or South America in the previous two months, causing symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, anemia, jaundice, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.
  • West Nile Virus or encephalitis, which is caused by mosquito bites and infects the central nervous system (CNS), causing symptoms such as fever, disorientation, muscle weakness, convulsions, numbness, paralysis, vision loss, headache, neck stiffness, and others.

When should you seek medical attention for bites and stings?

If you are experiencing an anaphylactic reaction to a bug bite or sting, you should seek immediate medical attention to ensure the reaction does not progress to a life-threatening medical emergency. In case of severe anaphylactic shock, which is characterized by extreme difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and delirium, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department immediately. You should also seek medical attention at the first sign of any illness associated with a bug bite or sting.

For an appointment or more information about bug bites and stings treatment for children at KidsHealth Pediatrics, we welcome you to call us or schedule an appointment through our website!

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