During the summer, when children spend a lot of time playing outdoors, they are particularly vulnerable to insect attacks. Here's what you should do to protect your child.
- To reduce the risk of infection from scratching, trim his fingernails. Call your doctor if a bite becomes very red and swollen, or if yellowish fluid or red streaks appear.
- Don't dress him in bright clothes, which attract insects.
- Teach him to avoid beehives and fire-ant mounds. Destroy them, especially if you have a young child. These insects can attack in swarms.
- After your child plays in the woods or grass, comb his hair to inspect for ticks.
- Seek immediate medical attention if he is stung anywhere in the mouth. Severe swelling in the mouth can quickly block the airways and cause difficulty breathing.
Copyright © 2003. Reprinted with permission from the June 2003 issue of Parents magazine.