Toddlers are innocent. Toddlers are cute. Toddlers are also prone to insect bites a hundred times more than an adult. The reason is because they feel everything around them is part of nature. It is this ignorance which insects take advantage of and attack tots repeatedly.
While some of these angels are less sensitive to bites there are others who experience uncontrollable itching which may turn into a serious condition if not treated at the right time. Mosquito bite allergy in children is rampant and it forms one of the most daunting tasks for parents, especially mothers, who in most cases are either ill equipped, unaware till the child complains and ignorant of the fact that a mosquito bite could be lethal sometimes. An interesting fact about these two-winged insect is that only the female sucks human and animal blood through its long proboscis, typically to pierce the skin.
As mentioned above tiny tots are more susceptible to mosquito bites and mosquito allergies than adults and it therefore makes difficult to address the issue till it becomes obvious; when the soreness and the swelling spills over and infects a larger area. The reaction to mosquito bite may be instant or delayed, spread over 48 hour timeline. While most of the cases are mild in nature some may turn into serious affairs depending on the child’s sensitivity. Mentioned below are some of the symptoms.
1. Itching – It will aggravate and so will the redness if the bite area is scratched relentlessly.
2. Wound – Frequent and aggressive scratching could turn the bite into an infectious wound.
3. Swelling of lymphatic vessel is yet another symptom which points towards a possible mosquito bite.
4. Mosquito bites can also result in hives, a natural reaction which may require special attention.
The above mentioned situations can easily be controlled and cured. However, the fact is mosquito bites can also transmit serious illnesses such as malaria, dengue which are not common in America but they do transmit another, equally lethal disease called “West Nile virus” in this part of the world.
The distinctive symptoms in case the child has been infected with the said virus are:
1. Fever – It typically develops quite late which makes it difficult to diagnose and the “Mosquito Bite” incident is forgotten by that time.
2. Excruciating body pain and headache – Now this symptom along with fever should be enough to raise the alarm bells. You need to consult your doctor immediately and get the toddler examined. A couple of tests will confirm if your young one has been infected or not.
3. Vomiting – The feeling of uneasiness takes over in case of viral attack. Nauseating is the third common symptom which once again is a clear signal that the child may have been infected.
Mosquito bites can be made less painful and reactions easily controlled with the help of medications and ointments such as.
1. Calamine Lotion – One of the most easy and preferred ways to reduce soreness and pain. Pour small amount of calamine liquid on to a ball of soft cotton. Dab the same on the “Bite” area, rubbing it gently for a while. Calamine is a proven way of reducing inflammation and offering immediate relief. Moreover, it is gentle on soft skin with absolutely no side effects.
2. Creams – Cortisone based creams and calamine lotions are OTC products. You don’t need prescription which makes it easy to buy in case of emergency. They can be bought from the neighbourhood pharmacist without fuss. Cortisone cream helps soothe and relieve pain instantly. It also makes the bite bearable and therefore prevents scratching and aggravating soreness.
3. Ice/Gel pack – A quicker and effective home remedy is the use of ice/gel packs. Simply dab the affected area with these packs for a few seconds, pull back for a while and repeat the procedure. It brings immediate relief from pain and swelling as it numbs the bite area. Secondly, the urge to scratch is reduced to a large extent.
A pinch of baking soda in a tumbler filled with water and gently massaging the affected area with a cloth soaked in this solution also helps. However, this is subject to doctor’s approval.
4. Benadryl Spray – Yet another quick heal treatment which is effective and doesn’t require medical or first aid knowledge is diphenhydramine products.
5. Hives – Hives can be cured with prescription drugs typically antihistamines and anti allergy tablets.
In case of continuous high fever or if the soreness aggravates you need to consult your doctor immediately.
Your toddler may be innocent, ignorant and susceptible but you as a parent are not. You can prevent mosquito bites in several ways and thereby avoid the agonies your loved one may have to suffer. Mentioned below are some of the ways you can keep mosquitoes and mosquito bites at bay.
1. Stagnant Water – Stagnant water, especially fresh water is a breeding ground for these pesky little monsters. Make sure you drain mobile swimming pools, large storage drums and other water reservoirs when not required. Alternately, you can use lids to cover them. Either way you goal should be to prevent breeding.
2. Mosquitoes invariably make their way into homes, attracted by human heat. They are most active during dusk and dawn. Make sure you keep them at bay with mosquito screens and other preventive gadgets.
3. Make sure your toddler wears long sleeved night suit. It might sound a little weird but the fact is protective clothing reduces mosquito bites to a large extent as hands and arms remain exposed, out of blanket/comforter which makes it a perfect target during sleep.
4. Anti mosquito cream, typically applied on arms and legs is another easy way to prevent mosquito bites. However, before you buy one consult your doctor and make sure it is absolutely safe and won’t cause any skin allergy.
Author Bio : Nelson is a blogger for MosquitoMagnet. He likes to share tips on ways to keep mosquitoes away from home and garden.