Fleas are very small jumping insects without wings, that bite animals and humans and suck their blood. Pets, like puppies or kittens, are good fun, especially for your children; however, the fleas on them are not. Flea bites cause not only itching, but also more severe problems ranging from infections to even the plague in some countries. Flea bites are more serious in the case of vulnerable babies who cannot do anything to protect themselves. That’s why it is your responsibility to identify the symptoms and know how to treat fleas on babies in order to prevent them from suffering from unnecessary pain.
Causes of flea bites on babies
Let’s get started with the reasons for flea bites on your children. There are many ways that your baby could have become bitten. Fleas drop off your pets, your pets are hugged by your children, and then fleas jump onto them. In other situations, babies crawl on the carpet or floor. Carpets are one of the most common places for flea eggs to hatch and fleas to hide. Fleas dwelling in the carpet will jump onto babies while they are crawling.
Sometimes, fleas come from unhygienic surroundings like the garbage or dust outside, then adult fleas come into your house and bite your children. Sandpits where children play outside are another place that fleas like to live and breed. When the children play in the sand, they get bitten.
Identifications of the flea bites’ symptoms
Next, we need to look at how you will know if your child has been bitten by fleas. Usually flea bites appear as red, swollen spots on the skin. Many people might confuse flea bites and mosquito bites, but in fact, they do look different.
Despite the fact that both cause itching, mosquito bites often are isolated while flea bites occur in a pattern, group or cluster. Looking closely, you will see a small red dot at the center of bitten area, where a flea bit the skin to drink blood.
Normally, bites appear on body areas that are most accessible, like the arms and legs, but if you have a flea infestation, such as in your bed or carpet, your baby may get bitten on the neck, back or shoulders as well.
Flea bites cause severe itching. Scratching may result in skin infections. Some symptoms of an infection are redness, swollen glands, pain in the bitten areas, possible skin leakage or bites that become larger due to swelling. Flea bites are not a matter to be ignored, and it’s important to know how to treat flea bites on babies and take measures as soon as possible.
Treatments of flea bites on babies
Try your best to stop your children from scratching
As mentioned earlier, scratching tends to be a cause of infection. When these pesky insects feed, they excrete. Nasty bacteria are going to soil the area around the bite, and if it gets scratched, they will go into the bloodstream. Say “no” to scratching! If your baby is small and cannot stop scratching, put a pair of mittens on his hands.
Keep the area clean
Make sure that the bitten areas are clean at all times to prevent infection, especially since babies tend to scratch. Use mild soap to wash the skin thoroughly before applying any medication or lotion.
Use a cold compress
If the affected area is itchy and swollen, a quick remedy can consist of an ice pack applied to the area. The cool temperature helps relieve any swelling, as well as temporarily eases any itchiness.
Use calamine lotion
Calamine lotion contains zinc oxide, which helps relieve itching. It also has antiseptic properties to help prevent the bites from getting infected. Some preparations are also available in combination with other anti-itch medications for a stronger effect.
Apply an anti-inflammatory cream
You can use topical creams like 1% hydrocortisone on your baby. Hydrocortisone and similar medications are effective in treating swelling due to skin conditions and even insect bites. They are readily available over-the-counter from a pharmacy.
Note that using steroid creams are only advisable when the swelling gets severe, because even if they are safe to use, it's best to use them only after trying other medications due to their potency. Also, use these creams only for a limited period to avoid any reactions from the sudden termination of their use.
Give your baby anti-allergy medication
Certain anti-allergy drugs like Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton are also helpful in relieving the itching caused by flea bites. These drugs are available in syrup form for babies and children and can be given in a small oral dose, depending on your baby's weight and age. Check the label for information on how much to give.
Apply some essential oils
Dilute a little tea tree oil in a carrier oil or lotion. Dab it on the flea-bitten areas. This can help relieve the swelling and prevent any bacterial infections. Other topical preparations containing peppermint, basil or lavender oils can help as well. These oils help calm and soothe the irritation and itching.
Try aloe vera
Famous for its skin moisturizing properties, aloe vera also contains active compounds that help relieve itchiness and pain. It is available in various topical forms, such as lotion or ointment, and can help soothe and soften the skin to promote healing.
Prevent any further bites
Treatment for flea bites is not complete without taking measures to prevent any future occurrences. Apply insect repellent sprays or lotions to your baby's clothing as well as bed sheets and blankets. Commercial repellents contain a chemical called permethrin, which works well to prevent fleas and other insects from getting onto beds, mattresses, sheets and sleeping bags.
If you prefer natural repellents, citronella oil and neem oil work well. When applying insect repellents to the body, make sure to avoid any areas near the mouth and eyes as well as their hands since they might suck their fingers or rub their eyes.
Eliminate fleas on your pets with flea shampoo and medication, and keep your physical surroundings clean.
To keep your babies and yourself safe, get rid of any chances of future flea infestations. Prevention is the best cure. Call the experts if the situation is beyond your ability.
To sum up
Flea bites usually appear as red, sometimes swollen spots on the skin. If you have a cat or dog at home, chances are that some red bumps on the skin appearing in clusters are due to fleas. Though not always harmful, these are very itchy and can cause great discomfort, especially for children and babies. Scratching these bites may also lead to skin infections and blistering, so it's important to know how to treat flea bites on babies. The recommended tips on how to treat flea bites on babies will help you keep your baby as comfortable as possible.
Thanks for reading!