Your Baby & Toddler - - Health Notebook -

Sum­mer is prime time for in­sect bites and stings. Most will heal on their own but it’s im­por­tant to have an idea of what to do if your baby gets bit­ten or stung.

Re­move the st­ing If a st­ing is vis­i­ble, try scrap­ing it off with a blunt, flat ob­ject, like a credit card or but­ter knife. Don’t use tweez­ers or your fin­gers as this will squeeze more venom into your baby’s skin and cause more ir­ri­ta­tion. Wash the area with soap and wa­ter once the st­ing has been re­moved and keep an eye on it in case an in­fec­tion oc­curs. Keep things cold Place a cold compress on the site of the st­ing or bite to re­lieve swelling and itch­i­ness. If you’re us­ing an ice pack be sure to wrap it in a clean face­cloth first.

Re­lieve the pain Ask your doc­tor or phar­ma­cist for an ointment that will help re­lieve any dis­com­fort or pain. Keep a tube of this in your first aid kit so that it’s handy in a sit­u­a­tion like this.

When to worry The most se­ri­ous re­ac­tion that can oc­cur as a re­sult of an in­sect bite or st­ing is ana­phy­lac­tic shock. This is a se­vere al­ler­gic re­ac­tion and can have se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions. Symp­toms in­clude a swollen face or neck, puffy eyes, blotchy skin and wheez­ing or dif­fi­culty breath­ing. If your baby goes into ana­phy­laxis, call for an am­bu­lance and then loosen her cloth­ing and lie her down on her side while hold­ing her head lower than her body. Stay with her un­til the am­bu­lance ar­rives.

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