Bed bugs live in warm and dry places, like mattresses, and feed on blood. A person of any age is at risk for getting bed bug bites and the treatment is the same for every age. If your baby gets bitten by bed bugs, you can handle it by controlling the itching and discomfort and eliminating the bed bugs.
According to Skin Sight, bed bug bites appear as red or pink bumps in lines or clusters on your baby’s skin 1. If your baby has sensitive skin, the bites can be large welts. Bed bug bites are typically painless, but they can itch and cause your baby to try and scratch them.
There is no evidence that bed bugs can transmit blood-borne diseases, according to MayoClinic.com 2. However, the itching may be uncomfortable for your baby. Talk to his doctor if you are concerned. He may recommend or prescribe a topical corticosteroid to help with the itching. An oatmeal bath may help with the itching as well. You can buy an oatmeal bath preparation at the drugstore or just add powdered oatmeal to lukewarm water. Be sure to supervise your baby carefully while he is in the bath, and only use a small amount of water to prevent drowning.
Keep your baby’s nails trimmed short while her bites are healing. Scratching her bites can cause them to bleed, which can lead to a bacterial infection in her skin. If she develops a bacterial infection from scratching her bed bug bites, she may need antibiotics.
Eliminating Bed Bugs
To get rid of bed bugs, wash linens, bedding and curtains in hot water and dry them in the dryer on a high-heat setting. Fix any furniture cracks and vacuum the room and mattress. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services recommends covering the mattress with a plastic cover. In extreme infestation cases, bed bugs can live under the carpet or under wallpaper and peeling paint. You may need to call a professional exterminator if you cannot get rid of the bed bugs yourself.
Bed bugs are common in places with high turnover, such as apartment complexes and hotels. If your baby spends time in these places, be sure to wash his bedding frequently and to check his body for bites. Do not use any chemicals to get rid of bed bugs before checking to make sure they are safe for use around children.
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