Bed bug bites on your baby’s delicate skin can produce a reaction depending upon how sensitive your child is to the bug’s venom. Most babies have a mild reaction; some however can develop rashes, blisters and swollen welts that can be itchy and painful. In rare cases, your baby could have a severe reaction that could require emergency treatment. Today we will take a look at some home remedies to treat bed bug bites on toddlers and babies.
What is biting your child at night? Signs of bed bug bites on baby
Bites and stings are commonplace in childhood. Some kids get bitten when they play outdoors; other times, bites and stings could occur inside the house. If you are wondering what has bitten your child, here is a description of common bites and the insects or bugs which could be responsible for them:
- Painful bites- ant, mosquito, fly, spider
- Non-painful bite- chigger, spider, flea, bed bugs
- Single bite- bed bug, mosquito or ants
- Two bites- ticks or spiders
- Raised bite-spider, ant, flea or chigger
- Flat, not raised and itchy-Mosquitoes
- Flat not raised or itchy-bed bugs
- Forms a blister- spider
- No blister-mosquito, fleas or chiggers
These are general guidelines to identify what is biting your child. If you suspect bed bugs, you need to inspect your child’s bed or crib. You might notice other signs of infestation such as red or brown discarded exoskeletons, reddish or rust colored stains around the edges of the mattress as well as a sweet, almond-like odor in the air. If you notice a bed bug, you must immediately take precautions to control them from multiplying. Remember: if you have seen one bug, there is a great chance that you will have more since they multiply rapidly. So make sure you take immediate steps for their eradication.
Steps to eradicate bed bug from your baby’s room
Start off by sealing all cracks and crevices. Caulk joints and vents where bed bugs hide and lay eggs. Make sure you seal gaps in light fixtures, baseboards, doorframes, wall cavities and cracks near the electrical switches.
Treat carpets and rugs
Bed bugs thrive under carpets. If possible, remove carpeting and install hardwood flooring. Alternatively, add diatomaceous powder all over the rugs and vacuum after 3 hours. Make sure you keep your baby away from the room where you have applied the powder.
Check box springs and cribs
If the crib is heavily infested, you might want to discard the mattress or use mattress encasement. Place the crib outdoors for a few days until the bed bugs are completely eliminated.
Use soapy water and steam cleaning
A great non-toxic way of cleaning baby’s room is with soapy water to clean the toys, furniture, hard wood floors etc. Steam clean the carpets and rugs, curtains and upholstered furniture.
Treat all the rooms
Bed bugs from baby’s room can also travel to other areas in the home. So treat all the rooms similarly. If needed, seek professional help. You will have to keep kids and baby away from the home during treatment.
Home remedies for bed bug bites on baby
Gentle lavender oil is one of the best home remedies for bed bug bites on baby. Dilute the oil in pure coconut or olive oil and apply the blend on the rash. Repeat application 2-3 times a day until the swelling goes down and there is no more itching.
Brew some tea such as black tea, green tea or chamomile tea. Apply the warm bag on baby’s itchy skin. Let it remain on the skin for 5-7 minutes or until the swelling goes down. Repeat as often as required.
Apply some witch hazel on the red, swollen welts. This astringent reduces itchiness and redness and also prevents secondary infections.
St. John’s Wort salve
Apply a salve or cream containing this herb. It helps soothe pain and redness and prevents itching.
This is a great home remedy for insect bites and stings. Apply the ointment liberally all over the skin to prevent itchiness.
Apple cider vinegar remedy (for kids older than 3 years)
Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 drop of thyme essential oil and 1 drop of lavender oil. Apply the mixture on the itchy areas.
Make a paste of baking soda with a bit of water and apply it on the bed bug or nymph bed bug bites to soothe away inflammation and redness.
Add some powdered colloidal oatmeal to baby’s bathwater and let it soak in for a few minutes. Oatmeal soothes itchiness and calms irritated skin.
Keep your child’s fingernails trimmed
This is necessary to prevent infections from scratching. If infection occurs, the bite may become redder, larger and swollen. If pus filled blisters occur and your child has fever, have your pediatrician examine him/her immediately.
Call for medical help if
If your child shows following signs, seek medical help immediately:
- Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
- Weakness, unconsciousness
- Hives or itchiness all over
- Extreme swelling near the eye or lips that make it difficult to eat or drink
In most cases, bed bug bites on baby won’t make it sick. However, secondary infections are possible due to excess scratching. Above remedies will certainly help to a great extent. Check out other products and resources on this site to eliminate bed bugs.