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Insect Bites & Stings FAQs

Can I use insect repellent on my child?

  • Insect repellents should not be used in children under 2 months of age.  The most common insecticide is DEET, which should be used as “family strength” not “extra strength”. Avoid using insect repellent on the hands as young children often like to put their hands in their mouths. Read more about DEET.
    *You should always bathe your child that evening to wash off the insect repellant.

What is anaphylactic shock?

  • Anaphylactic shock, also known as anaphylaxis, is characterized as a severe, life-threatening reaction to an allergen (caused by drugs, food, insect bite or sting, etc.) While it typically does not happen with the first exposure, sting, or bite, anaphylactic shock will start with allergic symptoms such as tightening or swelling of the throat, lip and/or tongue swelling or hives (blotchy red rash), nausea, vomiting, extremely itchy skin, low blood pressure, or an irregular heartbeat.

What do I do if my child has an anaphylactic reaction?

  • In order to have an anaphylactic reaction, your child has to have been previously exposed to the allergen. If your child is having a severe allergic reaction, call 911 and then deliver an injection of adrenaline (also called epinephrine), if there is one available, into the muscle in the side of the thigh. The adrenaline injection most commonly prescribed are EpiPen and Auvi-Q®.
    The 2-Pack of epinephrine should always be kept together, as a second may be needed 15-20 minutes later. Benadryl® should be given for minor allergic reaction only and will not be effective enough for anaphylaxis. EMS (911) should be called immediately for evaluation and transport to a children’s hospital.
    If your child goes to an ER or urgent care for a serious allergic reaction, be sure to schedule a follow up appointment with us or an allergist for further investigation and management..