Besides making your kids uncomfortable, mosquito bites can cause an allergic reaction in some children, resulting in welts, lesions, bruises, a burning, itching sensation or hives. In extreme cases, an allergy to mosquito bites causes anaphylaxis, a rare, serious condition that results in swelling in the throat and wheezing and requires immediate medical attention.
Mosquitoes also can carry viruses with even greater long-term consequences, such as malaria, dengue fever, encephalitis, yellow fever, West Nile virus and meningitis. While occurring rarely, these diseases are serious and life-threatening.
I have lots of patient visits over the summer about mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are more than just pests, but with correct preventative measures, the incidence of mosquito bites can be greatly reduced.
Here’s what parents can do:
- Dress all children in clothing that covers their arms and legs
- For infants and toddlers, use mosquito netting over their stroller.
- For children older than 2 months, use insect repellant containing DEET.
- Be sure your windows and doors have screens to keep pests out of the home.
- Empty containers of standing water – the mosquito breeding ground – around your house.
- See a pediatrician immediately if your child is bitten and then exhibits symptoms such as fever, wheezing, headache, body ache, nausea, rash or hives around the bite, sensitivity to light, confusion or muscle weakness in one area of the body.
For further information about UofL Pediatrics, visit the practice website. To learn more about Dr. Felton, visit her physician profile. If you don’t have a pediatrician, we would love to see you in one of our metro Louisville locations. You can request an appointment online, or call (502) 588-6000.