Mom putting bug repellent on her boys

Nothing can ruin a fun day at the park or a memorable camping trip quite like a bug bite. Kids seem to be magnets for bug bites, and it can be challenging for parents to know what types of bites are serious and the treatment they need. A visit to the Fort Morgan skin clinic can provide treatment options and advice. Here is a guide on common types of bug bites and what parents need to know about treating them.

Bug Bite Symptoms

The first step to treating a bug bite is knowing if it is actually a bug bite or sting. Sometimes scrapes or bumps can look like bug bites. Every child reacts to bug bites differently, but in general, bug bites and stings lead to localized swelling and redness around the bump. Many bug bites also cause itchiness and warmth.

Bug Bite Prevention

Bug bites occur in nearly every situation. Although nothing can completely protect from bug bites, taking precautionary steps can lessen the chances of bug bites occurring. Avoid places where bugs thrive, such as marshy areas or stagnant water. Dress your children in thin, lightweight clothing that covers as much of their body as possible. The thin layer keeps them protected from bugs without getting too hot. If you’re going to be outside, apply bug repellant to your children. Check the ingredients and warning labels to make sure it is safe for their ages. DEET is the most powerful ingredient in bug spray, but young babies should use bug repellant that has a lower DEET percentage.

Common Types of Bug Bites

The key to knowing how to treat bug bites is first knowing what kind of bite it is. Here are the most common bug bites for children:


Mosquito bites are typically small red bumps that itch and appear soon after the bite happens. Start by cleaning the bite quickly to remove any excess mosquito saliva. Apply a topical hydrocortisone or itch cream to lessen the sting. As much as possible, encourage children to avoid scratching their mosquito bites because it makes them take longer to heal and could break the skin.


As soon as you notice a bee sting, look to see if the stinger is still in the sting and scrape it away if it is. Clean the sting area with mild soap. Bee stings can be very painful, so it’s important to keep your child as calm and still as possible while you treat it. If your child is in pain, a gentle dose of ibuprofen can help. Keep an eye on the sting for any signs of allergic reactions like trouble breathing or hives.


Clean the area with soap and water and apply a topical itch cream. If a blister starts to form, leave it alone until it goes away. Scratching the blister could break the skin and lead to infection.


Spider bites tend to be smaller than other bug bites. Wash the bite area with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment. If it starts to swell, put an ice pack on the affected area. A topical or ingested pain medicine can help with pain and swelling. Keep an eye on your child for any vomiting or signs of infection, which could signal that it was a venomous spider bite. If you think your child was bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider, call your doctor right away.


Bedbug bites are small, red, and itchy and usually occur in clumps around the shoulders or arms. Clean the area, apply hydrocortisone cream, and avoid scratching the bites. To avoid bedbugs returning, clean the bedding and move your child to a new bed if possible.

Bug bites are common in children. Although they aren’t completely avoidable, taking the right precautions to avoid bug bites and knowing how to identify and treat common types of bites can help your child get back to normal quickly after a bug bite occurs.