Insect bites

Most insect bites and stings you can treat yourself. Your local pharmacist should be able to give you the correct cream or antihistamines that your child might need.

If your child has any swelling of the lips or tongue, or difficulty breathing, seek medical help immediately by phoning 000.

The symptoms of insect bites or stings can vary a lot depending on how allergic your child is to that insect. The signs and symptoms include:

  • Minor skin reaction with a painful itchy sore where the insect has bitten or stung.
  • Some children have a more significant reaction with swelling and redness larger than five centimetres across.
  • A small number of children (and adults) have a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

The symptoms of anaphylaxis include hives, itching, stomach cramps, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing and swallowing, choking and fainting. If your child is anaphylactic it is essential that you carry around an Epipen at all times.

If your child is bitten or stung at home you can try:

  •  Washing the bite. If stung by a bee, carefully remove the sting
  •  ice packs to help with swelling
  •  calamine lotion to stop the itching (or a cream recommended by your pharmacist).      

If the bite remains itchy, seek help from a your local doctor.