The food source of bed bugs is warm blood from mammals and humans. They survive in dry warm places like rugs, upholstered furniture, and mattress. They are nocturnal insects, but can even come out to feed during daylight. The bite is painless, so toddlers don’t wake when they are sucking blood but an itchy rash gets produced. The itchy red bumps are in clusters or lines. The bite is harmless but scratching can cause skin infections.
Babies sleep in many different environments so they are more prone to getting exposed to several potential bedbug territories. Just looking at the mattress or couch does not indicate there are bed bugs. Its size is tiny. They don’t have wings but can crawl very fast.
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Your child may rub or scratch their legs or arms against something. A small bruise on exposed skin turns into red bumps. The clustered configuration can be three bites in a line. It takes a couple of weeks for the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Toddlers prone to eczema can develop bumpy redness with severe itching. Rigorous scratching can increase the risk of bacterial infection. Ensure to keep your child’s nails trimmed short.
Some toddlers may never experience pain or itching but frequent bed-bug feed can disrupt their sleep and make them irritable. It can cause emotional distress.
If your child has bed bug bites, then wash the area with clean water and soap. It will reduce the chances of bacterial skin infection as well as reduce the initial itch. If it persists, then apply a cool compress or an anti-itch cream.
Other signs include blood spots on bed sheets, fecal around, or a musty odor [indicates plenty of bedbugs]. You will be able to spot a bed bug moving if it is searched for at night.
Preventive measures to decrease the chances of encounters
Bed bug bite management includes killing the blood-suckers and control your kid’s itching.
- Wash the linen and curtains in heated water and hot dry them.
- Scrub the furniture to eliminate the eggs.
- Seal the cracks found in the furniture or wallpaper.
- If the furniture can be disassembled then do it to clean thoroughly.
- Vacuum the floor, crib, bedding, and mattress.
- Check the adjoining room, even if occupants don’t complain about itching.
- Examine the booster seats, strollers, car seats, especially after and during travel.
- If you toddler foes to day-care then inspect their clothes, stuffed animals and blankets regularly.
When to consult a pediatrician?
Severe itchy bites may need topical steroid ointment prescribed by a doctor. Infants find it hard to refrain from the itches, at night. They will rub the red bumps on anything nearby, which can cause a secondary infection. Call your pediatrician and in case there is already some pus, then instantly schedule an emergency visit.