If you see your baby with a line of three to four itchy, swollen bumps, it could be due to bed bugs. Just like any parents, you might be worried when seeing your loved ones with a fresh set of itchy bug bites. You might be wondering what was the thing that has bitten your baby in the middle of the night. Is the culprit a spider, a mosquito, a bed bug or something else?
Identifying a lot of insect bites, including bed bug bites, can be hard. Even by looking at the reactions, it can also be hard, especially when everyone reacts differently to getting bitten. As stated by a clinical professor of entomology at Purdue University named Timothy Gibb, PhD, everybody is going to respond differently. He added that the same thing is true with a mosquito bite. Most people are going to swell up and it is going to itch. In fact, the same mosquito could bite someone else and it is hardly noticeable.
Furthermore, Gibb said it is possible for some people to not give any response at all when being bitten by a bed bug, based solely on how their immune system handles the bite. It is the reason why it is not easy to tell whether the bite is due to bed bug just by looking at it. However, there are a number of things that you can check out to tell that the bites are really bed bug bites. One of them is by looking for the bed bug bites pictures on the internet to help you visualize the symptoms.
If you have a hard time to differentiate between the bed bug bites and the bites from the other insects on babies, you can just open your favorite browser, go to any search engine, and enter the keyword such as “baby bed bug bites pictures”. In no time, the results will be shown on the screen.
According to Gibb, the bed bug bites are red, raised bumps. When it comes to the appearance, they are similar to mosquito bites or spider bites. While they look similar, they have some differences. The thing that makes the bed bug bites different compared to the bites from the other insects is a line on one part or side of the skin. This kind of thing is apparently the result of a thing known as probing.
Gibb stated that the bed bugs usually probe the skin in a few different places in order to find the best access to suck the blood. If you see your baby with a line of three or four bites on their skin, even though you have screen on your windows to keep out the other insects that might bite, the high chance is that the bed bugs are the culprits, as stated by a professor of entomology at Penn State University named Edwin Rajotte, PhD.
Apart from that, you can also determine if the bites on the skin of your baby are a result from bed bugs by looking for the bed bugs themselves. Usually, they hide in the likes of mattresses, especially in the corners, close to the head end, and in the cord that goes around it. Not only that, they also love to camp out behind the headboard, behind pictures on the wall, and in any electrical sockets.
When it comes to the size, the adult bed bugs have a size that is similar to the size of the apple seed. They are really flat from the top to bottom and almost as thin as a piece of paper. Besides, they also have a brownish color. Just like the adult ones, baby bed bugs also have a brownish color. What makes them different is that they are pinhead sized. Aside from looking for bed bugs, you can also look for black spots, which could be the bed bug feces, on your sheets, mattress, and mattress cover.
While it is true that bed bug bites do not hurt, you are still suggested to treat them as they are itchy for a few days and they can lead to irritation. In order to treat bed bug bites on your baby, you can try using a steroid cream, such as an over the counter (OTC) hydrocortisone cream. If the bite is itchy, you can also apply OTC antibiotic cream or give allergy medicine to your baby. Below are some things to take note when treating bed bug bites on babies:
- It is better for you to put the hydrocortisone cream in the fridge in order to make it extra cooling and soothing.
- If the bed bug bites are painful, you are recommended to soak a cotton ball in a baking soda paste for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, please wash away to reduce the pain. In case you have no idea how to make a baking soda paste, you can just mix about a tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of water until it forms a paste.
- One of the things that you can do is to apply an ice cube that is wrapped in a wet towel to the area that is affected for 20 minutes.
- When the skin of your baby is infected or when the pain lasts for more than two hours or if the redness is spreading, it is time for you to see a pediatrician.
Once again, if you are worried about your baby due to the bed bug bites, you are encouraged to see a pediatrician or a doctor. When you are there, they will make a diagnosis and help your baby. Meeting them in person is better compared to consulting it over the phone or by just looking at the photos of the bites.
Do not wait and just visit a doctor right away when the bite looks yellow or crusty, if the area surrounding the bite is becoming red, if the redness is spreading, if your baby has a fever, of if the bite is becoming swollen, hard, tender and red with a build up of pus under it.