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Baby Care Basics: How to Treat Bug Bites

Bug bites and stings happen all the time, so it's important to know how to care for your little one if she gets a bite. Here’s how to treat the most common types.

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Bug bites and stings are bound to happen. Here's some tips on how to handle them. For mosquito bites, dab on one percent hydrocortisone cream, a baking soda and water paste, calamine lotion, or diluted tea tree oil to minimize the itch. Bee stings really hurt so be prepared for your baby to cry. Try to keep him still while you scrape the stinger out with a credit card. Try not to squeeze it or it may release more venom. Then, apply a cool compress to reduce swelling. If your baby has trouble breathing, develops hives or swelling, vomits, or has diarrhea after the sting, call an ambulance. If you see a tick on your baby, grab it gently with a pair of tweezers, and pull it out straight. Clean the area with rubbing alcohol. Call your pediatrician if you can't remove it, if any kind of rash develops, if your child seems to be in pain, or has flu-like symptoms. Tick-borne illnesses can cause fever and rashes weeks after an exposure, so be sure to call your doctor if this happens. Spider bites usually appear as a red raised welt and should be treated with a cool compress and antibiotic ointment. However, a Black Widow bite causes a visible red bite marks and severe pain. A Brown Recluse bite causes redness, stinging, and a fluid-filled blister or open sore. Go to the ER if you suspect either of these two kinds, or if your baby's pain seems to be getting worse, or if he vomits or has a fever.