What Are the Effects of Bug Bites and Stings in Children?

Preventing and treating bug bites and stings is often a major concern for parents. Therefore, today we want to help answer some of your most frequent questions regarding insect bites and children.
What Are the Effects of Bug Bites and Stings in Children?

Last update: 16 July, 2018

Children are an easy target for insects. That’s why it’s important that parents know how to prevent and treat bug bites and stings, as they can sometimes be harmful to a child’s health.

Generally, the prevention and treatment of insect bites and stings falls on parents. The way a body reacts varies according to the type of insect as well as other factors. Most insect bites and stings produce pain, swelling, reddening, and itching.

No matter what type of bug bites or stings your child experiences or what symptoms appear, you should avoid scratching and rubbing. This can spread the venom and create a secondary infection.

How do bug bites and stings affect children?

Below, we’ll offer information on the types of bug bites/stings that are most common in children:


If you suspect that an ant has bitten your child, then you should apply soap and warm water to the area. You can also use a hydrocortisone cream to control swelling and itching.

Finally, you should try to keep any blisters from popping, as this can cause infection and additional pain.


If a bee stings your child, then you’ll likely find a small black stinger stuck in your child’s skin. Carefully extract the stinger using tweezers.

Keep swelling under control with ice and by keeping the affected body part elevated. To relieve pain and itching, you can apply an antihistamine cream or a mix of baking soda and calamine lotion.


Mosquito bites tend to be more frequent. If your child has a mosquito bite, wash the affected area gently with cold water, without soap. You can also apply a topical treatment to calm the itch.


Most spider bites are inoffensive. However, some spider bites can produce blisters and skin necrosis. Other spiders can cause symptoms like chest pain, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. 

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, then you should seek immediate medical attention.

“The way a body reacts varies according to the type of insect as well as other factors. Most insect bites and stings produce pain, swelling, reddening, and itching”

Red mites

The symptoms of a red mite bite generally appear 1 to 3 hours after the fact. They include extreme itching that lasts for several days. Furthermore, the affected area can become red and swollen, similar to a blister.

Successful treatment involves a cool bath or shower. You can also apply a cold compress, calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to keep itching under control.

How to calm your child in the case of an insect bite or sting?

Below is a list of suggestions that we offer for calming your child if he or she has been stung or bitten by an insect:

  • Stay calm in order to avoid frightening your child even more.
  • Calm your child down with soothing words.
  • Treat any itching according to the above instructions.
  • Apply ice or a cold compress in order to further reduce itchiness and pain.
  • Reapply insect repellent.
  • Distract your little one from the pain and itchiness with an activity that he or she enjoys.

Advice for avoiding bug bites and stings in children

The following advice can help you safeguard your child from bites and stings:

  • Use safe and effective insect repellent.
  • Avoid soaps, creams and other products that contain lots of perfume.
  • Have your child use long sleeves and pants when possible.
  • Be especially careful in forests, brushes and grassy areas.
  • If you have pets, take measures to avoid flea infestations.

When should I contact a doctor?

If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, then you should seek medical attention:

  • If pain or itchiness worsen.
  • Signs of infection, such as reddening, localized or overall fever, swelling or loss of liquid in the skin.
  • Fever.
  • Hives or rash.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Pressure or pain in the throat or chest.

From now on, you’ll know how bug bites and stings can affect your children and how to treat them. As you’ve seen, there is usually no need to worry, as these incidents are common occurrences. 

Remember that the reaction your little one may have depends on the type of insect, and your child’s own personal organism.