Any parent will tell you that with having kids comes having worries. Unfounded or not, concerns for everything from sleeping patterns to eating develop almost as soon as a baby is born. Questions that parents never thought to ask are now in need of an answer, including all things related to bed bug bites on toddlers.
How to identify and know what to do about bed bug bites on kids may not be at the top of everyone’s list of worries, but for anyone battling an infestation or even just a few of these pesky parasites, it can be a real source of anxiety. Read up on the identification, treatment and prevention of bed bug bites on a child to give you a closer look and put your mind at ease.
Spot the Signs
Bed bug bites on a toddler will look exactly like bites on adults and could take as many as 3-4 days to appear. Once visible, these red, flat welts often pop up in small clusters or zigzag lines, but can sometimes also be found in straight rows. These parasites are mainly active at night where people rest, so if most bites seem to be happening in bed after the sun goes down, take note.
It can be easy to confuse other insect bites with bed bug bites on kids so it’s important to be aware of the differentiators. For example, flea bites tend to occur on the feet and ankles, while bed bug are more likely to feed on skin exposed during sleep, such as arms and shoulders. The most effective way to identify bed bug bites on a child is to see an actual bed bug, but they’re great hiders. You can, however, check for key indicators such as fecal stains on a mattress and bedding, small spots of blood on pajamas and sheets, and brown exoskeletons. A strong musty smell also usually accompanies these pests if there is a large, uncontrolled infestation, so pay attention to what your nose is telling you, too.
A Mixed Reaction
Everyone reacts differently to bites. While some may not experience any symptoms, itching is a common result. It’s important not to scratch bites left by bed bugs, and babies and kids need extra help to prevent this from happening. Scratching can lead to potential infection so caregivers should try to alleviate itching whenever possible.
If you’ve seen signs or found bed bug bites on a child in your home, contact a trained technician as soon as possible. While some kids may not experience itching or pain, frequent bed bug feeding can make them irritable, disrupt sleep habits and may even result in emotional distress.
Ditch the Itch
As soon as you see evidence of bed bug bites on your toddler, wash the area with soap and water. This can help reduce the risk of a secondary skin infection and may alleviate the initial itching. If it persists, try applying a cool compress, an anti-itch cream such as calamine location, or an over-the-counter corticosteroid or consult your physician.
Reduce Chance Encounters
Nobody is off limits to bed bugs, not even your children. However, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of bringing them into your home:
- Check cribs, mattresses and all bedding in your child’s room periodically for signs of bed bugs.
- Examine car seats, booster seats and strollers, especially during and after travel.
- If your child is in daycare, make inspection of blankets, clothing and stuffed animals part of your regular routine.
Children rely on caregivers to help protect them from things like bed bug bites, and prevention is the first step. While bed bug bites on kids may be relatively harmless and garner minimal reaction, they be a sign of a larger problem. Contact Terminix® today to set up a free inspection, and let us help you eliminate the fear of bed bugs in your home.