We are lucky to live in a country where for a majority of the year, we can enjoy the great outdoors. However, insects and pests are part of the outdoors. Director Mary Dawes of First Aid For You offers her tips for dealing with bites and stings and making the process as easy as possible.
Mosquitos & March Fly Bites
Mozzie and march fly bites are fairly easy to treat, but nevertheless should not be ignored as they can become infected if scratched repeatedly. Prevention is your best bet, avoiding known mossie haunts, going inside at dusk when mozzies become more active and wearing long sleeves and pants. Insect repellent is a must, look for “kids” variety as this caters for sensitive, younger skin.
Repellent should only be used on under six year olds’ clothing and not on babies less than two months’ old. Ask your doctor or chemist to recommend a suitable repellent to use against flying insects as well as fleas and ticks.
Checking after activity
After a bush outing, check your child’s body thoroughly when they have their bath. Keep littlies’ fingernails trimmed and if they are bitten by a mozzie, wash the bite with warm water and soap as soon as possible. Rubbing soap directly onto the bite can often stop the itching and swelling.
Bee & Wasp Stings
Bee and wasp stings can be a complex matter. If bitten, scrape your fingernail across the stinger to remove it. DON’T squeeze it out – that will only release more poison. Cool the area, use a painkiller if needed or calamine to relieve itching and an antihistamine can be administered if required. Learn the signs of anaphylaxis and call an ambulance immediately (triple 0 – 000) if your child shows any symptoms, particularly if they are prone to allergies.
Snakes & Spiders
Remember to tell your children that, if camping or bushwalking, you’re in “ the native animals home”. DO NOT scream if you see a snake or a spider, walk quietly and quickly away from – NOT past the snake / spider. If the children see the snake or spider without adult supervision, tell them they must tell an adult as soon as possible, where they saw the snake and what it looked like – also important to remember to check outdoor play equipment before the children use it.
Prevention is best!
Finally, check all outdoor play equipment prior to the children using it. This applies to public equipment and toys in the backyard. Have some bug spray for outside and wipe down with a paper towel after spraying to remove any harsh chemicals. For public play equipment, spraying some insect repellant with a baby-wipe. Many outdoor toys become a favourite spot for creatures to sleep / build webs or nests.
Medical disclaimer: Tips provided need to be considered in conjunction with medical advice. For immediate concerns, please contact HealthDirect (Australia wide) ph 1800 022 222 – to talk to a registered nurse 24hrs a day, and in emergencies call 000.
About Mary Dawes & First Aid For You: Mary Dawes, Director of First Aid For You has a family history of ambulance service workers, First Aid For You was officially launched at the 2012 Baby and Toddler Expo in Sydney, with resounding success and to date has seen over 3,000 parents complete the First Aid for Families course. First Aid For You brings first aid training to your home or office at a time and location that suits you!