Bug Bites and Stings

Bug Bites and Stings

Bug bites and stings usually are just nuisances. They bring momentary alarm, temporary discomfort and pain, but no serious or lasting health problems. But on occasion, they can cause infections that require treatment and allergic reactions that can be serious, even fatal.

Parents should know the signs of an infection or allergic reaction, and when to get medical attention. Inform all caregivers if a child has any history of complications so they know what to do in the event of a bug bite or sting.

What to Do About:

Bee and Wasp Stings

Spider Bites

In the southwest United States, an unidentified bite may be caused by a scorpion. Take your child to the emergency room immediately.

Tick Bites

Check kids and pets for ticks carefully after you've been in or around a wooded area. Common types of ticks include dog ticks and deer ticks (deer ticks may be carriers of Lyme disease).

If you find a tick on your child:

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: May 2010





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican Lyme Disease Foundation This organization is dedicated to advancing the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and control of Lyme disease.
OrganizationAmerican Camping Association This organization helps parents select camps that meet industry and government standards as well as camps for children with special needs.
OrganizationNational Park Service This site contains information on America's national parks and the many ways you can enjoy the great outdoors.
Related Articles
Insect Stings Instruction Sheet Being stung by a bug is often just irritating and doesn't require treatment by a doctor. But kids who are highly allergic to insect stings may have life-threatening symptoms that require emergency medical treatment.
Spider Bites Instruction Sheet Most spider bites cause only mild reactions and can be safely treated at home. Occasionally, though, a severe allergic reaction to spider bites can be life-threatening if left untreated. And some spider bites need immediate care.
Woods and Camping Safety for the Whole Family A family camping trip can be an enjoyable experience with a little preparation.
What to Do When You're Bugged by Bugs Ugh. Bugs. They're cool, but they also can ruin your day by stinging or biting you. Find out how to handle them in this article.
Hey! A Brown Recluse Spider Bit Me! The brown recluse spider is one of six poisonous kinds of spiders in the United States. Learn more about the brown recluse spider.
West Nile Virus You've probably heard about West Nile virus and know that mosquitoes have something to do with it. Learn more about the virus, including how you can protect yourself.
West Nile Virus The threat of West Nile virus has made getting a mosquito bite a cause for concern. What is West Nile virus, and what can you do to prevent it?
Hey! A Tarantula Bit Me! A tarantula is a black, hairy spider that is about two to three inches long. Learn all about spiders and tarantulas in this fun article for kids.
Evaluate Your Child's Lyme Disease Risk Does the threat of Lyme disease make you think your kids would be safer in your living room than in the great outdoors? Find out how to evaluate a child's Lyme disease risk.
What's My Lyme Disease Risk? Is the thought of Lyme disease making you feel you'll be safer in the comfort of your room than the great outdoors? This article can help you assess your Lyme disease risk.
Lyme Disease Lyme disease can be treated if it's caught early. So read this to find out what causes it, how it's treated, and how to prevent it.
Lyme Disease Lyme disease can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and other organ systems. If diagnosed quickly and treated with antibiotics, Lyme disease in kids is almost always treatable.
Bug Bites and Stings Generally, insect bites and stings are harmless. Find out how to keep pests from ruining your fun.
Should My Son Be Afraid of Brown Recluse Spiders? Find out what the experts have to say.
Hey! A Black Widow Spider Bit Me! The black widow spider is one of six poisonous kinds of spiders in the United States. Learn more about them!
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an infection transmitted by ticks. Find out more about it - including how to prevent it.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter