Natural Pediatrician Discusses Bug and Tick Bites

Hello moms and dads!

It’s summer. Children play and spend more time outdoors. Let’s talk about some of the things you can look out for when it comes to insects and pests.

Typical bug / mosquito bites are possibly dangerous. There’s no need to run to the doctor for every bite because the usual treatment is using something like Benedryl cream or silver gel to minimize discomfort or just let some time pass and the irritation will go away on its own. If your child gets a lot of mosquito bites you can also add some baking soda to a bath and let them soak in the tub to alleviate the irritation. I also recommend non-lidocaine aloe vera gel to soothe the bite area.

Spider bites may cause a bit more irritation and swelling. If so, clean the bite area well and dab on some hydrogen peroxide. Wash it off after a few minutes and apply a cold compress. If irritation continues you can apply an over the counter antibiotic cream or a prescription cream like Mupericin. Another option for spider bites is to make a baking soda and water paste and apply that to the affected area for 10 minutes then wash off.

Here are some indications you might want to have your child looked at by a physician:

  • Excessive swelling and redness
  • Spreading of a highly irritating rash like reaction
  • Atypical reaction your child is having compared to past bites
  • You notice red streaks emanating from the bite area
  • Your child develops a fever

Tick bites can be a little trickier. Since they can carry germs that cause Lyme disease the entire tick needs to be extracted properly. If you find a tick on your child do not panic because the odds of a Lyme infection are small. However, I do recommend that you completely remove the tick. You’ll need some good (but not sharp) tweezers. Clean the area well with alcohol or peroxide. Using the tweezers pull the entire tick out SLOWLY and GENTLY making sure it does not break. If the tick has become embedded and you cannot easily remove it entirely with tweezers, you should check with seek out a professional’s opinion. If you are able to entirely remove the tick, clean the well area again after removal with silver gel and/or peroxide then apply antibiotic ointment or silver gel.

Hopefully these tips will help you relax and enjoy the great outdoors this summer!

Dr. Kenneth Akey