Bug bites and stings usually are just annoying, causing temporary discomfort and pain, but no serious or lasting health problems. But sometimes, 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 care. 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.
If your child has had an allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting in the past, see your doctor for a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector.
Another sting to look out for is one caused by a scorpion.
If a person gets stung by a scorpion, the area of the sting will hurt and may get swollen or red, depending on the type of scorpion. More severe reactions from the venom (poison) involving other parts of the body also can happen.
Because it's hard to tell a dangerous scorpion from one that is harmless, all scorpion stings must be treated by a doctor. Capture the scorpion for identification if it's possible to do so safely, and bring it with you to the doctor. Knowing the type of scorpion that caused the bite may make treatment easier.
Check kids and pets for ticks carefully after you've been in or around a wooded area. Ticks removed within 24 to 48 hours are less likely to transmit diseases like Lyme disease. 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:
Here ways to protect your family from bites and stings:
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014
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