Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Itchy or Painful Insect Bites - Brief Version
What are insect bites?
Insect bites cause itchy, red bumps. Some bites are
How can I take care of my child?
If the bite is itchy:
- Put calamine lotion or a mixture of baking soda and
water on the bite.
- If it is very itchy, put on 1% hydrocortisone cream.
You can get this cream at the drug store.
- Put firm, direct, steady pressure on the bite for 10
seconds. Use your fingernail or pen cap.
If the bite is painful:
- Rub the bite with a cotton ball soaked in meat
tenderizer and water for 20 minutes. This will help
the pain. Don't use meat tenderizer near the eye.
- If you don't have any meat tenderizer, use baking soda
- Give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) to
help the pain.
How can I protect my child from insect bites?
- Put a little insect repellent on clothing or skin before
your child goes outdoors.
- Don't put any repellent on the hands or on a sunburn or
- Make sure your child does not use more than 3 or 4 drops
of the repellent.
- Wash repellent off after your child comes indoors.
Call your child's doctor right away if:
- A bite looks infected. You may see red streaks. It may
feel more tender.
Call your child's doctor during office hours if:
- The bite still itches or is very painful even after it
has been treated.
- You have other questions or concerns.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems