11 July 2018

Summer is here, school holidays have started, days are longer and our kids spend more time outdoors even in the evenings, and it’s at dusk that our kids may be bitten by mosquitoes. But in places where there are ponds or puddles, you may be bitten at any time of the day!
Mosquitos are very common in our country and the common symptoms of mosquito bites are small bumps and blisters that swell and itch; in particularly sensitive persons, the skin may become very pink, red and very itchy and will take longer to heal.
Some of us though, are more prone to bites than others.
Even if you are especially delicious for mosquitoes, don’t worry: in Italy mosquitoes do not spread dangerous diseases as often happens in tropical and subtropical countries, where malaria is spread by mosquitoes.


What does a mosquito bite look like?


Common symptoms of mosquito bites (on exposed parts of the body like your face, arms and legs) include blisters on the skin that may become pink, red, and very itchy; some of us have more sensitive immune systems and in this case the bump may be larger, but all bumps will have a yellow or white centre.


How to treat mosquito bites?


In general, you can safely do nothing at all, other than tell your child not to scratch because this makes the bite itchier and may cause infection.
If the bump is large and very itchy, apply arnicagel or cortisone ointment. Do not use ointments containing antihistamines. Very rarely, in the case of very bad itching or swelling of the eyelids, your paediatrician may prescribe oral antihistamine.

In any case, don’t worry: in Italy mosquitoes do not spread dangerous diseases!


How to avoid mosquito bites?


Families who use homeopathic remedies can start preventive treatment with Ledum Palustrein granules taken orally, at least one month before the mosquito season. Please consult a homeopathic doctor for advice on the best dosage for your child and how to take it.

For those who opt for short-term prevention, in other word when these annoying insects have already become a nuisance, here are a number things you can do.

When you are outdoors, especially at dawn or dusk or in places where there may be mosquitoes, get your children to wear cool long-sleeved shirts and light-coloured trousers, applying mosquito repellent on exposed skin. A very efficient natural product is Ledum Palustre spray.
For those who prefer to use traditional products, I recommend using repellents that contain Picaridin, which ensures very effective protection against mosquito bites and is well tolerated. Try not to use repellents containing DEET which may be toxic, above all if used with high concentrations of the active substance.
Spray the mosquito repellent on your hands and then rub it on your child’s skin avoiding the eyes and lips. Repellents generally give a protection of 3-4 hours; when you get home remember to wash the parts of the body to which mosquito repellent was applied with soap and water.

To prevent mosquito bites at home, I recommend installing mosquito nets on your windows or over cribs and cots. Electric plug-in mosquito repellers are effective but remember that they release the repellent into the air so don’t use them in your children’s bedroom when they are in the room. If you do decide to use these repellents, ventilate the room well before your child goes to bed, and do not turn on the lights.