Mosquito Bites on Babies – Causes and Treatment
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- Video: How to Prevent Mosquito Bites on Babies (Plus 5 Home Remedies to Treat)
- Causes of Mosquito Bites
- How To Identify Mosquito Bites on Your Infant?
- Complications of Mosquito Bites in Babies
- How To Treat Mosquito Bites on Your Baby?
- Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites
- When Should You Call the Doctor?
As adults, it gets hard to sleep and rest peacefully when there are mosquitoes looming around. Even more so, when it comes to your baby. The nights spent warding off the mosquitoes buzzing around your baby aren’t easily forgotten. Babies are easy targets for these tiny blood-sucking insects. It can be a painful affair, both for yourself and the little one, as you will need to stay up and soothe your crying baby. As your baby’s skin is sensitive, it is essential to know if any remedies you are using are safe for him. Keep reading for everything you need to know about identifying mosquito bites on your baby, treating them with home remedies, and preventing more bites in the future.
Video: How to Prevent Mosquito Bites on Babies (Plus 5 Home Remedies to Treat)
Causes of Mosquito Bites
Babies are unprepared to deal with mosquitoes and, hence, become attractive targets for them. Here’s why your infant may display mosquito bites all over his body:
1. Unclean Environment
Stagnant water and over-flowing/open garbage cans attract mosquitoes. If these are commonly found in your locality, your baby is at risk of mosquito bites.
2. Exposed Skin
When you dress up your baby in short pants/nappies and sleeveless T-shirts, he becomes an easy target for mosquitoes.
Wet towels and clothes, leaking roofs and dampness are an invitation to mosquitoes and should be avoided when there’s a tiny one at home.
4. Uncovered Food Items
The smell of food can also attract a scourge of mosquitoes. You should maintain hygiene when you have a baby at home.
5. Perfumed Lotions or Creams
If you’ve stocked baby oils, lotions and creams in your baby’s bedroom, that might be one of the causes of mosquito bites. Perfumed powders should be avoided too.
Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat odour and its warmth. If you find your baby sweating, use a soft towel to wipe it off. Do not allow the sweat to settle on your tiny one’s body.
7. Water-Based Decorations
Fancy waterfalls, flashing lights and gurgling sounds may give your home a unique look, but are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Your innocent baby can become an easy target for such home-grown mosquitoes.
How To Identify Mosquito Bites on Your Infant?
If you notice any of these symptoms, it means that your infant has been bitten by mosquitoes.
- Tiny red bumps
- Swollen reddish areas
- Dark spots
- Baby scratching or crying without any noticeable reason
- Raised skin with a prominent white centre and a red spot
Complications of Mosquito Bites in Babies
Although the effects of mosquito bites fade away in a few hours, your baby might experience certain complications in rare cases. Here are some possible complications, in which case you should consult a doctor.
If your baby is older and able to scratch the bites, doing so might cause an infection. One of the main symptoms of an infection is fever, so keep a watch out for an increase in body temperature. You may also notice some blisters in the area of the bite, which indicate infection.
Some mosquitoes can be carriers of diseases such as malaria or dengue. If these mosquitoes bite your baby, they might transfer the virus. Keep a watch out for symptoms like fever, weakness, and vommiting in your little one, if he has been bitten by mosquitoes.
How To Treat Mosquito Bites on Your Baby?
Try these effective mosquito bite remedies on your baby to heal his skin:
- Applying ice brings the itching and swelling under control.
- Soothing calamine lotion is also a quick and easy remedy for mosquito bites.
- Prevent your baby from scratching the itchy areas.
Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites
If you are looking to treat mosquito bites on babies, a home remedy is a safe solution. These remedies for infant mosquito bite relief are effective and don’t have any side effects. The ingredients needed are available in your kitchen itself!
- Lemon – Lemon has excellent anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic properties. This makes it one of the best home remedies available. Cut a lemon into two and apply directly over the bite. You can also use fresh lemon juice for application on the skin.
- Garlic – Garlic is a beautiful soothing balm for itchiness and swelling after bites. It helps the swelling to reduce, and the harsh odour keeps mosquitoes away from your helpless baby. Crush garlic and rub it gently over the bite. Clean it with a damp cloth after a few minutes.
- Baking Soda – This inexpensive and effective method for curing mosquito bites in babies is highly popular amongst mothers. Baking soda can quickly restore the pH level and helps in reducing itching. Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in a cupful of water. Dip a soft towel in it and place it on the bitten areas for 10 minutes.
- Ice – Ice is helpful in preventing inflammation and also keeps the bite from affecting nearby areas. Keep a few ice cubes in a clean, soft cloth and dab it on the skin repeatedly. Do not hold it over your baby’s sensitive skin for long as it could cause some discomfort. This simple yet effective treatment heals the condition quickly.
- Salt – Clean the skin area with sea salt and water for quick relief. Like lemons, salt is anti-inflammatory and proves to be an effective home-based remedy for mosquito bites. Its easy availability makes it a quick solution to insect bites.
- Aloe Vera – This is a natural antiseptic, and its gel is a great reliever for mosquito bites on babies. Keep the gel in the refrigerator for a few minutes and then apply over the affected area. It will reduce the itchiness, swelling and pain due to the mosquito bite.
- Honey – Honey finds a lot of applications in the world of home remedies. Since it is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, honey soothes the mosquito bites and keeps inflammation under control.
You may wonder how to prevent mosquito bites on babies, to ensure your baby does not suffer and can sleep peacefully. Since prevention is always better than cure, take the following measures to prevent your baby from mosquito bites.
1. Cover With Mosquito Nets
Spread a fine-mesh mosquito net over your baby’s crib and car seat. This protects your baby’s skin from coming in contact with these terrible insects.
2. Keep Your Baby Covered
You should always keep your baby’s arms and legs covered with full-sleeved clothing, especially during the monsoon.
3. Use Insect Repellents
Never apply insect repellents directly onto your baby’s skin. Use them on your baby’s clothes instead. Mosquito repellents consist of DEET, which is unsafe for babies younger than two years.
4. Keep Your Child Away From Water Bodies
Accumulated water and woody areas are the ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. When you take your baby out for a stroll, avoid such places.
5. Invest in Window Screens
Cover the windows with nets or screens. This will prevent the mosquitoes from entering your home. You can also turn on a table fan to drive the mosquitoes away.
6. Keep the Doors Closed
Keeping the doors and windows closed once it turns dark can do a lot to protect your baby from mosquito bites.
7. Pay Attention to the Colours
As mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark colours like navy and black, it makes sense to clothe your infant in light-coloured clothing. You should check if your baby’s room has ultraviolet, blue or fluorescent bulbs and replace them.
When Should You Call the Doctor?
Mosquitoes are effective carriers of various diseases and should be kept away from infants. Your baby will need immediate medical attention if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned below:
- Lesions, inflammation and red patches on your baby’s skin
- Wheezing and a swollen throat are indicators of anaphylaxis which can turn into a life-threatening condition
- Vomiting and nausea
- Heavy breathing and reactions in other parts of the body
- Pain on or around the affected area
- Reduced sensitivity to light
- Swollen lips
- Swelling around the neck
- Enlarged bitten area that contains pus
- Fever and chills
1. How Long Does the Bite of a Mosquito Last on a Baby?
Mosquito bites can leave bumps on the baby’s skin that last upto a week. This is normal and not a reason to worry. However, if you notice other symptoms such as fever or pain, consult a doctor immediately.
2. What Ointment is Effective Against Mosquito Bites in Babies?
Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream will help provide some relief to your baby and ease inflammation and itching. It is always best to consult your doctor before applying these ointments to ensure they are safe for your little one.
It’s not possible to keep mosquitoes at bay at all times. However, the chances of mosquito bites can be minimised. When your baby is sleeping or playing, keep a close watch on the surroundings. Vigilance is all that is needed to keep your home mosquito-free.
1. Mosquito Bite; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/symptom-checker/Pages/symptomviewer.aspx?symptom=Mosquito+Bite
2. Protect your infant from dengue; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/resources/educationmaterials_pdfs/15_261427-C_Seda_508_Update_Protect_your_infant_from_dengue.pdf
3. Mosquito Bites; Cleveland Clinic; https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17695-mosquito-bites#symptoms-and-causes; October 2021
4. Mosquito Bite Symptoms and Treatment; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; https://www.cdc.gov/mosquitoes/mosquito-bites/symptoms.html; May 2023
5. Insect bites and stings; NHS; https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insect-bites-and-stings/; June 2023