Some children with no other known allergies may have severe reactions to insect stings. If you suspect that your child is allergy-prone, discuss the situation with your doctor. He may recommend a series of shots (hyposensitization injections) to decrease your child’s reaction to future insect stings (but not bites). In addition, he will prescribe a special auto-injection kit containing epinephrine for you to keep on hand for use if your child is stung.
It is impossible to prevent all insect bites, but you can minimize the number your child receives by following these guidelines:
- Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate such as garbage cans, stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and sweets, and orchards and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
- When you know your child will be exposed to insects, dress him or her in long pants and a lightweight long sleeved shirt.
- Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints because they seem to attract insects.
- Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child since they also are inviting to insects.
This is Dr. Budiasih’s first blog in a series of three blogs on bug bites and prevention. Her other two topics will be on the treatment of bug bites and insect repellents.
Santi Budiasih attended the University of Indonesia and completed her residency training at the University of Nebraska/Creighton University, Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Nebr. Her medical interests include well baby / well child care, adolescent health and sports medicine.