No-Panic Guide to Kids' Cooties


What is it?
Tiny red mites that attach to the skin, inject saliva, feed on blood, and then fall off; often found in sandy, grassy areas.

What to look for
Small, itchy pimple or welt, similar to a mosquito bite; you'll usually find several bites in one area.

What to do
Apply hydrocortisone cream to bites; an over-the-counter oral antihistamine can also ease your child's itching. Discourage scratching, which can lead to infection.

How to prevent it
Dress your child in long sleeves and long pants if he'll be hiking or playing in fields. Use an insect repellent containing less than 10 percent DEET.

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