Poisonous Insects in Marbella - Has Your Child Been Bitten?
by Marbella Family
- By Dr. Luzdivina Garcia Morales de los Rios
Marbella Family Medical Blog
Marbella Family Medical advice:
The first thing we need to know is that any insect who lives in our environment can bite our kids including: mosquitos, spiders, caterpillars, etc.; but not all of them cause a severe reaction.
If your kid has been bitten by a spider or a scorpion, try to identify or take a picture of the insect if this can be done quickly and safely. The insect identification can give us an idea of the evolution and severity.
If you don’t see the insect, or can’t identify it, here are some guidelines to help you know what to do:
Insect bites and stings can cause immediate skin reaction.
Bites caused by mosquitoes, fleas, spiders, and mites are more likely to cause itching than pain.
The bites from fire ants and the sting from bees, wasps, scorpions and hornets are usually painful, localized redness, swelling and also feel burning.
When is it an emergency?
The symptoms vary according to the type of insect and the individual. In most cases, bites and stings can be easily treated at home. However, some children might have a severe allergic reaction to insect bites and stings or some insects can have poison.
We have to suspect the child has a severe reaction (Anaphylaxis) when the symptoms develop quickly, often within seconds or minutes. The following symptoms require immediate urgent emergency care.
Symptoms that require immediate emergency care:
Abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds
Chest discomfort or tightness
Nausea or vomiting
Swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
These severe reactions can be rapidly fatal if untreated. Call immediately for emergency medical assistance: 112 / 061
For emergencies (severe reactions):
Check the person's airways and breathing. Call 061/112 and begin rescue breathing and CPR (if the victim's breathing or heartbeat has stopped).
Reassure the person. Try to keep him or her calm.
Remove rings and constricting items because the affected area may swell.
Use the person's EpiPen/Jext or other emergency kit, if they have one. (Some people who have serious insect reactions carry it with them.)
Remain with the person until medical help arrives.
General steps for most bites and stings:
Remove the stinger if still present by scraping the back of a credit card or other straight-edged object across the stinger. Do not use tweezers, these may squeeze the venom sac and increase the amount of venom released.
Wash the site thoroughly with soap and water.
Place ice (wrapped in a washcloth) on the site of the sting for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes. Repeat this process.
If necessary, take an antihistamine, or apply creams that reduce itching.
Over the next several days, watch for signs of infection (such as increasing redness, swelling, or pain).
Do NOT apply a tourniquet.
Do NOT give the person stimulants, aspirin, or other pain medication, unless prescribed by the doctor.
Avoid provoking insects whenever possible.
Avoid rapid, jerky movements around insect hives or nests.
Avoid perfumes and floral-patterned or dark clothing.
Use appropriate insect repellants and protective clothing.
Use caution when eating outdoors, especially with sweetened beverages or in areas around garbage cans, which often attract bees.
For those who have a serious allergy to insect bites or stings, carry an emergency epinephrine kit (which requires a prescription). Friends and family should be taught how to use it if you have a reaction. Wear a medical ID bracelet.
And always remember to ask your doctor!
NOTE: We'd like to thank Dr. Luzdivina Garcia Morales de los Rios, at the Paediatrics Department at Hospital Ceram for the responses provided in the Marbella Family Medical Blog.