This summer we left our daughter at her grandparents’ house for a week… for the first time. Everything went really well, except for just one thing: she was heavily bitten by mosquitoes. This, too, was a first-timer for her and for us, so we didn’t really know how to handle the situation. The bites were red and swollen, the size of a coin. However, we were fortunate to see that our daughter didn’t scratch them.
During and after this not so pleasant episode, we consulted a pediatrician and we read more about prevention and treatment of mosquito bites.
Here are a few prevention tips:
- First of all, try to avoid areas where mosquitoes nest: humid environments, wetland habitats (small pools with stagnant water, ponds, swamps, marshes), gardens, areas with garbage cans etc. Mosquitoes breed in standing water.
- Dress your toddler in light-coloured, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk. Mosquitoes bite through tight-fitting clothing.
- Make sure you have a window insect screen in your baby’s room. During the night, it is safer to put a mosquito net over your toddler’s bed. (ex. Baby Toddler Bed Crib Dome Canopy Netting)
- Cover your baby outdoors – you can use nets outdoors, too, on your toddler’s stroller or carrier (ex. Yosoo Mosquito Net Toddler Bed Crib Canopy Mosquito Netting Fits Most Strollers Bassinets, Cradles and Car Seats).
- Use essential oils to keep your house clear of mosquitoes: Essential Oils: Mosquito Repellent Blend – Citronella, Lemongrass, Grapefruit.
- Use natural or baby-safe, nontoxic insect repellent (ex. 3PCS Natural Plant Ingredients Mosquito Repellent Clip).
- Use DEET applied to skin and permethrin applied to clothing (always use repellents according to your pediatrician’s recommendations).
Symptoms of mosquito bites you may notice on your toddler:
- A white and pink/red bump, that appears for few minutes after mosquito bites
- Swelling around the bite
- A bump, that appears for few minutes after mosquito bites
Contact your doctor immediately if your toddler experiences:
- Signs of infection (severe redness and swelling around the bite site)
- Severe itching
- Confusion or sleepiness
- Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Swelling of lips or throat
How to treat mosquito bites:
- Wash the infected area with cool water or, if there are larger areas, a cool bath without soap may help relieve symptoms;
- Discourage scratching, relieve the pain and reduce the swelling by periodically applying a cold compress or ice pack;
- Apply Aloe Vera Gel (keep it in the fridge and apply it directly to the bite whenever needed to relieve itching) – it is soothing, anti bacterial, and anti-inflammatory;
- Use hydrocortisone cream (ex. USDA Certified Organic Natural Healing Cream), but don’t use it on large areas, broken skin, or near the eyes or mouth (always consult your toddler’s pediatrician before using it!).
- You can use an antihistamine to help your child sleep and to relieve itching.
What do you use to protect your toddler from mosquito bites? Do share!