Some tips to avoid and treat mosquito bites
Children are often oblivious to the presence of insects, so they are easy targets for their bites, especially that of mosquitoes.
The best way to avoid mosquito bites is to avoid them.
Some children appear to be more attractive to mosquitoes than others, and can sometimes have very exaggerated local reactions with large, itchy welts.
Why do they stingthe mosquitos?
Mosquitoes find their victims by the smell. They have sensors that detect the sources of carbon dioxide and lactic acid produced by warm-blooded animals.
Chemical repellants repel mosquitoes, not because mosquitoes do not like the smell of these repellants, but because the chemical component of these repellants masks the odor of carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
Something similar happens with natural repellants such as geranium oil or citronella, although they are not as effective as chemical repellants.
Why do mosquitoes bite some children more than others?
Although we sometimes hear that mosquitoes prefer certain blood types, what really attracts mosquitoes is the smell.
Each child has a characteristic smell, and this is what makes certain children attract mosquitoes more than others.
How to prevent mosquito bites in children
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes can be most abundant such as areas with garbage, small accumulations of water, food and / or gardens.
- Use light colored clothes.
- Stay inside during the hours when there are more mosquitoes, like the first hours of the morning and at dusk.
- Avoid using strong smelling perfumes or soapsSince mosquitoes are attracted to these smells, they choose certain individuals over all others for their smell.
- Use long-sleeved shirts or pants to cover as much skin as possible.
- Use repellants, preferably natural. Chemical repellants, especially those containing DEET (N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), at high concentrations can be toxic, so they should be avoided especially in the case of children and pregnant women.
The use of any product that is used to prevent mosquito bites in children should be limited to clothing and exposed skin, it should never be put on the hands or face. Also, children who have used DEET (or any other insect repellent) should take a bath or shower at the end of the day.
- For people allergic to mosquito repellent lotions or sprays, take vitamins B1 or Garlic can help prevent bites. Its use produces a type of odor that is unpleasant for mosquitoes.
- Place some plant leaves that repel to mosquitoes squashed on clothing such as catnip, rosemary, calendula, or citronella. The crushed leaves of these plants can also be mixed with water, used as a natural repellent spray.
Treatment of mosquito bites in children
- Apply ice or a cold, wet washcloth.
- Using a roll-on deodorant that contains aluminum chloride can also help.
- Apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to treat mosquito bites.
- It is important to avoid scratching the child, since with the nails you can break the skin around the bite and thus favor a possible infection. Try to explain to the child that he should not scratch and trim his nails as short as possible.
- For signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus, call your doctor. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as the West Nile virus.