No one likes to see their children suffer from large, itchy mosquito bites.
While there is not a way to take a bite completely away, there are ways to relieve the itch. Dr. Carleen Hanson, a pediatrician at Meriter-UnityPoint health gave the Wisconsin State Journal tips for relief.
Dr. Hanson says the easiest way to alleviate the itch is to put some frozen vegetables in a sealable plastic bag and apply to the bite for three to five minutes at a time. You can also apply firm pressure to the bite for about 15 seconds, just be careful not to push too hard.
Over-the-counter creams, such as diphenhydramine or hydrocortisone, can also be used to take the itch away. Dr. Hanson recommends applying these up to four times a day until the itch is gone. She also suggests making your own cream by mixing baking soda and water.
If your child has multiple bites or extremely itchy bites, Dr. Hanson proposes oral antihistamines given three to four times per day. Once a day antihistamine, such as Claritin or Zyrtec is also an option. She stresses if taking this route to first call your pediatrician to ensure you are giving your child the correct dose.
Keep an eye on your child’s scratching, as insect bites can become infected. Keeping nails short can help prevent infection. However, if you notice increasing redness, tenderness, pus under the skin, or a honey-crusted appearance it would be a good idea to have your child checked by a physician as all of these are signs of the start of a bacterial infection.
The best treatment, according to Dr. Hansen, is prevention. She suggests having your child avoid being outside when mosquitoes are most active (sunrise and sunset), and to encourage them to wear lightweight pants and long sleeves if it is not too warm out.
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