Due to their curious and playful nature, especially when they are outdoors, children often experience insect bites. How can you treat mosquito bite rashes in kids, and when should you bring them to a doctor because of it? Find out here.
Types of reactions to mosquito bites
Many of us don’t give a second thought about mosquito bites; after all, they mostly only bring a slight discomfort and usually resolve on their own. However, please note that a person, including kids, can have other mosquito bite reactions besides rashes.
Below are some of the possible reactions:
- Itchy bumps. This is perhaps the most common mosquito bite reaction. After your child feels the sting, they will most likely notice a small, red bump that is often itchy. The red bumps are the body’s reaction to the mosquito’s saliva, which gets mixed in when they suck in blood.
- Allergic reaction. In some cases, a mosquito bite can cause allergic reactions like large hives and blisters. Rarely, a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) may also happen due to mosquito bites.
- Diseases. And finally, some mosquito bites can bring diseases such as dengue and malaria.
How to care for mosquito bite rashes in kids
Before we discuss tips to prevent mosquito bites, let’s first talk about some home remedies for the rashes.
Thankfully, the bumps only last for a couple of hours to a few days. To ease rashes, you can do the following:
- Instruct your child not to scratch the site of the bite. Scratching can further irritate the affected area and even make it more vulnerable to infection.
- Cut their fingernails short. This is a precaution in case your kid cannot stop themselves from scratching.
- Use over-the-counter products if the rash is too itchy. 1% hydrocortisone cream or ointment is often effective. Apply it on the affected area thrice daily until the itch is gone.
- If 1% hydrocortisone is unavailable, some reports indicate that baking soda paste will also do. Mix baking soda with water to form a paste, and then apply over the itchy bump.
- When neither is available, experts recommend using a cold compress. Put a piece of an ice cube in a wet cloth and place over the itchy rash for 20 minutes.
- Consider applying OTC anti-allergy ointment if the rash is still itchy despite doing the home remedies above.
When to seek medical help
Generally, mosquito bite rashes in kids are harmless, even if the bump and redness persist for a couple of days (4 days). But, if you notice the following signs, bring your child to the doctor:
- The red area or streak is spreading
- Your child complains of being sick or looks very sick
- The bump gets larger 48 hours after the bite
- Your child develops fever and chills along with other symptoms such as headaches, joint and muscle pain, and vomiting. These symptoms may indicate diseases such as dengue fever.
Finally, if your child develops difficulty breathing or swallowing, bring them to the hospital right away. These symptoms may indicate a severe allergic reaction.
How to prevent mosquito bites
The good news is you can prevent kids from experiencing mosquito bite rashes by practicing the following measures:
- Apply insect repellent on your child’s skin, especially the exposed parts.
- Regularly clean up and remove stagnant water indoors and outdoors, as mosquitoes often use it as a breeding ground.
- Mosquito-proof your home by repairing or installing screens.
- Keep your children covered, especially when going out to a place where there could be mosquitoes. Have them wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, and socks.
- Avoid thin, fitted clothes as mosquitoes can bite through them. If ever, you can apply some repellent spray on their clothes.
Mosquito bite rashes are common in kids, given their playful and adventurous nature. Generally, you can treat the small, itchy bumps at home with over-the-counter creams. To prevent mosquito bites, be sure to clean up, cover-up, and use mosquito repellents.
Learn more about Child Skincare here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.