Mosquito Bite First Aid for Kids

Mosquito bites are a common problem in summer time. The usual reaction is a local skin inflammation that is red, raised and very itchy. If your child scratches the bite, it may become infected as well. Here's what you can do for your children to help ease the itch and pain caused by mosquito bites.

• Apply anti-itch creams like calamine as needed to help prevent scratching

• Use anti-inflammatory creams like cortisone cream to help ease the inflammation and itching

• If there is severe itching and multiple bug bites use antihistamines like Benedryl. Because they tend to make children drowsy, they work particularly well at night.

• Prescription antihistamines like Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec tend to be much less sedating

Other Suggestions:
• Keep your child's fingernails cut short to prevent scratching

• Apply cold wet compresses to the area to ease discomfort

• Have your child wear long pants and long sleeves (if the temperature is bearable)

• Make sure window screens are used if you keep windows open in your home

• Use insect repellant to help prevent bites from occurring

Choosing an Insect Repellant

DEET is the best insect repellant in terms of effectiveness against flies, gnats, chiggers, ticks and other insects. The higher the DEET concentration the better it works. For children, however, the EPA recommends a concentration of 10 percent or less to prevent side effects and toxicity.

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