Bedbugs are very small insects. Their food source most of the blood of humans. Bedbugs tend to live in warm, dry places such as mattress, upholstered furniture and rugs. They come out at dawn to feed. Their bite is painless, so your baby will likely not wake up when bitten, but the bite produces a very itchy rash. Your baby will wake up with itchy red or pink bumps, usually in lines or clusters.
Who’s at risk?
Bedbugs can bit anyone of any age. Because bedbugs only feed on humans and other warm-blooded animals, they tend to be found in places where there are many people, such as dorms and prisons. They are also common in places where travelers pass through, such as hotels and shelters. Because bedbugs do not feed on trash or dirt, there is no association between poor hygiene and untidiness to bedbug infestations.
Signs and Symptoms
You may see a bug bite or notice your child scratching or rubbing their arms or legs against something. What start as small bruise-like areas turn into red bumps on the exposed parts of the body? There may be a clustered configuration of 3 bites in a line. Resolution takes about 2 weeks and may leave some darker areas of skin.
Infants who are prone to eczema may develop a generalized bumpy redness in large areas with severe itching, and they may vigorously scratch the area, which puts infants at risk for bacterial infection if the scratching causes breaks in the skin. Make sure to keep infants’ nails trimmed short. You may see tell-tale signs of bedbug infestation, such as blood stains on the sheets.
Management of bedbug bites includes removing the bedbugs themselves and controlling the child’s itching.
Wash all linens in hot water, and dry them in a hot dryer. You may also need to wash the curtains. Scrub furniture to remove eggs, and fix any cracks that may be in the furniture; you may need to take the furniture apart to do this well. Vacuum the room, including the mattress and any surrounding crevices.
Your baby may need a prescription-strength topical steroid to help intensely itchy bites. Infants have an especially hard time refraining from scratching, especially at night, and will attempt to rub the affected area on anything nearby.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
Your child’s doctor may give him/her a topical corticosteroid to help reduce the itching and inflammation. These are especially helpful at night, to help prevent infection. In rare cases of blistering skin reaction, oral corticosteroids may be necessary.