Do you and your family enjoy spending time outdoors during the evening hours? When it is nice outside, I love letting my children play outside in the backyard while I watch them. I always notice that as soon as I sit down outside it never fails the mosquitoes, other flying insects, or even ticks seem to sense that you are outside and decided to join you. Bug bites can cause serious problems, especially, if the insect is carrying harmful diseases. It is important that you protect you and your family from potentially harmful bug bites.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only and should never replace talking to your child’s doctor about their bug bites or protecting them from getting bug bites.
Why Do Bug Bites Cause You To Itch and Swell?
Most people when they are bitten by pesky bugs they typically are left with a huge, red welt. The huge, red welts often begin itching. When a bug bite itches it usually leads to scratching, which can lead to infections and scaring. Typically, when a bug bites you the bug injects poison or they leave their saliva behind. The poison or saliva left behind causes your body to react and attempt to protect you from the foreign matter. As your body begins reacting to the bug bite, your body triggers a response to the foreign material, such as mosquito saliva, and creates histamine causing the bite wound to itch. Without itching, you would never know that you were even bitten. If you realize or know that you have been bitten, you can watch for signs and symptoms of health related illnesses that bugs can transmit when they bite you. If you notice that your bug bite is swollen, it means that you are allergic to the saliva or foreign material that the bug injected inside of you.
Can You Get Sick or Harmful Diseases From Bug Bites?
Insect bites not only cause a mild skin reactions but some people can get very ill. Some insects also transmit and carry harmful diseases such as Lyme’s Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, West Nile Virus, Malaria, ect. If you begin feeling ill or have flu-like symptoms, see a doctor immediately to rule out possible complications from potential diseases that insects can carry. It is possible to get bitten by a bug that is carrying a harmful disease. In fact, babies and elderly people are more at risk for getting bitten by bugs because they can’t defend themselves.
Use Precautions to Protect You and Your Family from Pesky Bugs?
If you plan on spending any time outdoors with your family, you should take precautions to protect your family from pesky bug bites, especially, if you have an infant. In fact, infants and children are more likely to get bitten by bugs because they typically play out in the yard while the adults are keeping an eye on them from the porch or they have protected themselves using bug spray or other types of mosquito repelling techniques.
9 Ways to Protect You and Your Family From Bug Bites
Try using these tips to help prevent getting bitten by those pesky bugs during the summertime.
- Wear Protective Clothing – Even though it is warm outside, if you don’t like using harmful bug sprays you can wear tightly woven long sleeve shirts, pants, and socks. Do wear light colors since they repel the sun. This is the best way to protect your infant or toddler from getting bug bites without using harmful chemicals or sprays.
- Use Insect Repellent – If you plan on using insect repellent make sure that it contains DEET; however, make sure that you pick up a repellent that contains less than 10% of DEET if you plan on using it on children younger than 2 years old. Children who are 2 years or older typically absorb more DEET; therefore, some parents avoid DEET all together. Instead, look for natural insect repellent products to use on your infant or toddler that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals. If you do end up using insect repellent on a child who is younger than 2 years old, spray it only on their clothing. This helps reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that your child is exposed to. Never put insect repellent on their hands of babies and young children. They typically put their hands in their mouth and can end up swallowing harmful chemicals.
- Mosquito Netting – Mosquito netting is a cheap and great way to protect your infant from getting bug bites while riding in the car seat, stroller, sleeping in a portable crib outside, ect.
- Standing Water – If you notice standing water in your yard, do treat the standing water for mosquitoes. Avoid going to places that have stagnant water (water that isn’t moving). Mosquitoes breed in water. Do check any toys, swimming pools, garbage cans, bird feeders, and anything else in your yard that can hold standing water and dump out the water.
- Screens – If you love to open your windows in the late evening, check the screens occasionally for holes or tears to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside of the house and biting you. Replace or repair the screens immediately.
- Spot Check for Bug Bites – Always spot check each family member for signs and symptoms of insect bites, especially, after spending any time outdoors. If you notice bug bites it is important to monitor for signs and symptoms of illnesses. If you show any signs of illnesses, do see your doctor immediately
- Avoid Heavily Wooded Areas – If you go camping or plan to spend time around heavily wooded areas, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to protect you and your family from mosquitoes and ticks. Avoid sitting directly on the ground and wear insect repellent.
How to Treat Bug Bites
If you have a reaction to bug bites there are several things that you can do to help with the swelling and itching. If possible, use an ice pack on the affected area, especially, on babies or toddlers. Using an anti-histamine can help reduce the itching; however, most anti-histamines do cause drowsiness and can make some people sleepy. Check with a doctor or pharmacist before giving your child an anti-histamine. Calamine lotion is a topical lotion that helps reduce the itching. It is important that you or your child doesn’t scratch the bug bites. Scratching can lead to infection or scarring.
Do you and your family enjoy spending time outdoors during the summer? Do you always protect your family using insect repellent?