Mosquito bites in babies: prevent them, relieve them

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Mosquito bites in babies: prevent them, relieve them

Do babies get bitten by mosquitoes?

Summer is here or soon here and here is the return of heat, sunbathing, terraces… and mosquitoes that leave few people indifferent, especially at night. You know the song, but this year, a little novelty is added to this routine: you are accompanied by a baby, and the fact that it is stung worries you in advance. It is indeed a question of taking precautions, since you are with a young child or a baby.

  • “Young children tend to be more bitten by mosquitoes than adults”, confirms Dr. Emmanuelle Rondeleux, pediatrician and allergist in Libourne, founder of the sitemypediatrician.net.
  • In addition, they also react stronger bites, she continues.
  • On the other hand, good news for the parents of a newborn, mosquitoes do not represent a major subject of their daily life, even in summer: “Toddler babies, even if they are bitten as much as the older ones , react just by little dots very red but which do not swell and don’t seem to bother them », Details the pediatrician.

What mosquito repellents to use for babies?

Regarding the protection of babies, we think above all of the mosquito repellent creams or sprays. But is it a good reflex? For the pediatrician, this is not not the ideal answer : “There are indeed anti-mosquito products dedicated to babies, over 6 months generally, but their compositions do not make them entirely harmless. If you use it (on vacation in the tropics for example), you have torespect age and dosage. But when possible, it is better to simply do without it.

Can essential oils be used as repellents near babies?

Pro-nature parents often have bottles of essential oils in their medicine cabinet. If the idea may be interesting, it is however not at all suitable to baby:

“The natural side does not mean that the substance is without risk. You should know that thelavender essential oilgenerally used against mosquitoes is an endocrine disruptor, for example”.

We then avoid the use of essential oils (lemongrass, lavender, etc.) on the skin, of course, but even in broadcasting in the baby’s room.

A mosquito net to protect baby

So what can be used to protect baby from mosquito bites? The answer is physical: “The simplest thing is still to use a mosquito net, which for example is placed over the stroller or the cozy baby. If this is impregnated, it’s very goodbut we will then make sure that baby cannot put his fingers or mouth there.

If the use of mosquito repellents is not ideal in the case of a baby, what alternatives are available to parents to protect them? “There are several simple precautions to take,” reveals the pediatrician.

  • Adapted clothing. Above all, we will make sure to dress baby in light clothes with sleeves and pants light, especially in the evening, at sunset, when the mosquitoes are most virulent. Likewise, it’s time for him put on socks and not to leave his little feet bare.
  • We avoid scented products that would attract mosquitoes
  • We avoid around the house anything that contains stagnant water : basin, planting, small pool left aside… Stagnant water favors the larvae and the proliferation of mosquitoes.
  • In the baby’s room, the use of mosquito repellent sockets must meet several precautions: they must not be placed near the crib and the room must be sufficiently ventilated.
  • mosquito nets are a very practical way to avoid mosquitoes: they can be placed on the windows, also above the crib.

The damage is done, and your baby’s delicate skin is attacked by one or more well-recognizable red pimples? It’s time to take care.

Disinfect mosquito bites

The first thing to think about when baby gets bitten is disinfect the affected areas. “You have to remember to wash and/or disinfect the buttons with a topical antiseptic, before they become not very pretty, because let’s not forget that mosquitoes inject their saliva before sucking our blood, which gives an inflammatory reaction. It therefore comes quickly,” recalls the doctor.

Soothe baby’s skin

In case of feeling of itchs linked to insect bites, it is normal to want to soothe baby, even if it does not seem serious. For this you can simply use cold water compresses applied directly to small red bumps. “But today there are also products like small creams or pharmacy mists (Aderma, Bioderma, SVR, etc.) suitable for babies, with a feeling of freshness as a result, which attenuate well scratching urges“, evokes the pediatrician. Very useful little helpers to slip into your travel bag

A cream to help healing after the bite

Finally, who says buttons sometimes says small scars, especially if small hands and small nails scratch the sensitive area under the effect of itching. “Now is the time to think about cut nails well baby to avoid the risk of infection, if he scratches with dirty fingernails”, advises the pediatrician.

If the stings are not pretty, a Idrying otion with copper and zinc is ideal for protecting the skin because it has healing properties.

When to worry about a bite? When should you consult for a pimple?

Fortunately, mosquito bites are mostly benign and are simply part of the small inconveniences of summer. However, if the bite takes an unexpected turn, it is better to consult your pediatrician in the following symptoms:

  • in case of very swollen arearedder or hotter than a usual sting;
  • in the event of the appearance of yellow discharge or green in the button;
  • in case of fever;
  • or if the affected area is delicate and may have a complication (eyelids, area near the mouth, genitals)

“Faced with a situation that becomes a little more problematic, your doctor will be able to prescribe a treatment adapted to the child, a cream based on corticosteroids for example to calm the inflammation” evokes the pediatrician. Antihistamines can also be prescribed.

You plan to travel to an area where mosquitoes are a bit more voracious, or even more dangerous what about us? The question of insect bites will inevitably arise. For the pediatrician, the choice of destination must already be considered: “With the child, all dangerous areas are avoided as much as possible, that is to say the areas where the risk of malaria is real. There are plenty of other possible destinations to go to the sun”, she recalls.

For destinations that do not experience malaria, but where mosquitoes can still transmit dengue or chikungunya, a suitable mosquito repellent will be applied. This generally includes DEET or Icaridin in low doses (source 1). “In this case, you have to be very careful respect the age and application tips (generally the child must have more than 6 months)” recalls Dr. Rondeleux.

Finally, the mosquito net remains here again the most practical preventive tool (for the stroller, the bed, etc.). Choose it impregnated, to a repellent effect also making sure that baby cannot put it in the mouth.

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